Ongoing Commitment to Animal Welfare
Humane handling on the farm
Our global animal welfare approach includes initiatives that promote continuous engagement and the development of a positive animal welfare culture, as well as accountability for animal wellbeing throughout an animal’s life. This includes a setting that allows them as much as possible to express natural behaviors considered appropriate for their respective rearing situations.
Humane handling at processing
All animals processed by Cargill and our suppliers are stunned prior to processing. This renders an animal unconscious before it is processed so it is insensible to pain, discomfort and stress, until death occurs. Cargill ensures that all conventional meat and poultry comes from animals that have all been rendered unconscious prior to processing. Humane handling also encompasses facility design, training of animal-handling personnel, organizational guidelines and policies and regulatory compliance.
Cargill understands live animal transportation can create stress. We do everything possible to lower the stress level for animals being transported to our processing facilities, including minimizing transportation times. This applies to all species across all of our businesses. Our global commitment is to limit transportation times to a maximum of 8 hours for all live animals.
Our global businesses also abide by regional and local animal transportation regulations and transit times. In regions of the world where transportation regulations may not exist, we adhere to industry best practices and animal welfare transportation requirements of third-party external guidelines and audits.
Our plants and supply chain partners work with transporters to schedule journey times and trips that minimize animal stress as much as possible. This applies to all species of animals across all of our businesses.
Industry standards and guidelines
For some regions in which we operate, there are voluntary industry standards and guidelines that have been developed by scientific committees. These voluntary standards are species-specific and go beyond government regulations. Cargill has supported and adopted many of these industry standards including:
- Development of China’s first animal welfare standards for farm animals;
- Participating in the development of Canada’s Codes of Practice as a member of the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC)
- Participating on the National Chicken Council and National Turkey Federation animal welfare committees that develops U.S. industry guidelines.
- Slaughtering 100% of our cattle in the U.S. and Canada according to North American Meat Institute (NAMI) standards. Cargill serves as a technical contributor to these guidelines.
- Meeting and exceeding our commitment that 90% of our U.S. feed yard cattle supply come from yards that are Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certified, a program that educates cattle producers in animal handling best practices, including optimal antibiotic use.
Often these standards are the foundation for third-party audits as well as internal audits required within our supply chain. We ensure that we meet our policy commitments, in part, through internal and third-party audits. These audits are conducted in our supply chain based on the Five Freedoms. This system ensures that we perform in accordance with our policy commitments, objectives and targets.
All animals under Cargill’s care are given care that meets or exceeds government regulations. These regulations were created to ensure livestock and poultry are handled humanely at processing facilities. Producers, transporters and company employees are obligated by law to abide by these regulations.