BRAZIL - Brazilian meat and food processor BRF has joined forces with international animal welfare organisation, World Animal Protection, to improve animal welfare practices in its supply and production chain.
BRF (formerly Brasil Foods) has also agreed with World Animal Protection (WAP) to adopt a loose housing system for farrowing sows.
Because there are no Brazilian regulations on this issue, BRF said it will follow European Union legislation.
The sows will remain in individual housing for the minimum period necessary, after which they will be placed into collective pens, according to the best principles of animal welfare.
The process, which depends on obtaining favourable financing will be integrated into the current practices gradually over 12 years.
Under the agreement, World Animal Protection will provide technical support and monitor the change.
This is a pioneering initiative for Brazilian food processing companies, because BRF works directly in the production chain and maintains exclusive and long-term contracts with its suppliers.
BRF said that it has already been developing improvements on some of its partner farms
For more than two years, the collective gestation system has been a part of the company’s production expansion projects, where gestating sows are kept in larger spaces, instead of cages, so that the animals may express their natural behaviour, moving more freely and interact with other animals.
These farms have the latest technology and equipment that allow for a better performance of animal welfare practices.
The company's link with the World Animal Protection will help these initiatives to be extended to other farms and species.
The partnership involves the construction of a comprehensive work plan, based on the exchange of knowledge and experiences in order to advance in animal welfare practices.
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