Animal welfare is a core area of focus in our company. We continuously look for ways to improve the overall health and well-being of turkeys, not only under our care, but within the entire industry.
Turkey welfare goes beyond providing basic necessities such as food and water. It includes animal treatment, bird handling and overall turkey health and is everyone's responsibility.
It is important to have a documented animal welfare policy that employees can refer to.
Common best practices around the world
Two major components of the turkey animal welfare program include creating standard practices to be implemented globally and enhanced training for employees.
A large-scale initiative that began in 2014, was to roll out new training and standard practices surrounding the euthanasia of turkeys. Our key team members reviewed all approved methods of euthanasia to search for a method that was most humane for the bird, provided a high level of safety and compliance for our staff, and that would be most accepted by society. After careful consideration, it was decided to move to CO2 systems for euthanasia in all production locations around the world. Integration of these units is complete in Canada and Poland, and we are happy to announce that France, our largest production area, is already underway. Over the next three years we will install 240 units throughout France.
Not only is it important to make sure that we have the right tools in place, but it is crucial to put in place clear guidelines and training for our employees. A ‘Euthanasia decision tree’ was created and is posted as a reminder in all locations to ensure employees are making informed and timely decisions surrounding the euthanasia of birds in our care. Also, an internal “See something, Say something” campaign was created to encourage employees to speak up, in a confidential way, if they think there may be an animal welfare concern.
Animal health and wellbeing is at the core of our business. These initiatives are just a few examples of our efforts to continuously improve the welfare of animals in our care and to set an example for the industry.
Ensuring we have a system in place to continually improve the quality of life for the animals we are responsible for is important not only because it is expected by society, consumers and our customers but because it is the right thing to do.