Tyson's Seeks to Balance Consumer Expectations on Pig Welfare

US - Farmers who raise pigs for Tyson Foods have been informed about the company's new animal welfare commitments, which focus on farm audits, raising biosecurity, euthanasia methods, pain mitigation and sow housing.
calendar icon 10 January 2014
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Tyson Foods has outlined measures the company is taking on hog raising practices in a letter sent on 8 January to the hog farmers who supply the company.

These steps are being taken as part of Tyson's ongoing animal well-being programme and reflect input it has received from its Animal Well-Being Advisory Panel, customers, farmers and industry experts. They also reflect the company's continuing efforts to balance the expectations of consumers with the realities of today’s hog farming business.

As noted in the letter, available here, Tyson Foods is:

  1. increasing the number of third-party sow farm audits conducted through our FarmCheck™ programme
  2. urging hog producers to use video monitoring in their sow farms to increase oversight and decrease biosecurity risks
  3. encouraging hog producers to stop using manual blunt force as a primary method of euthanising sick or injured piglets
  4. supporting the use of pain mitigation (such as anaesthetic or analgesic) for tail docking and castration of piglets
  5. urging hog farmers to improve housing for pregnant sows by focusing on the quality and quantity of space provided, including urging all future sow barn construction or remodelling to allow for pregnant sows of all sizes to stand, lie down, stretch their legs and turn around.
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