Thai livestock industry marks 2018 as one of the best years for animal welfare

Thailand celebrated World Animal Day 2018 with huge progress in animal rights, especially in the area of livestock welfare, where several game-changing policies have been made by the government and major food companies
calendar icon 5 October 2018
clock icon 3 minute read

As one of the world's biggest food product exporters globally, it has been easy for Thailand to ignore animal welfare, until now. The country produces 18 million pigs and 1.5 billion broilers annually, putting it in the top ten of the world broiler producers.

In 2018, Thailand made several significant progresses to improve its animal welfare standards, including its revision of the Good Agricultural Practices for Broiler farms (TAS 6901-2009) which is now in progress.

In addition, the country has received praise from high-profile animal specialists across the world during their visit to Charoen Pokphand Foods' (CPF) plant in Rayong for the Prince Mahidol Award Conference (PMAC) earlier this year. The group praised Thailand’s prudent antimicrobial use and farming practice to battle antimicrobial resistance. The developed practices focus on enhancing animal welfare and the use of probiotics to create content and strong animals. This shift in management of welfare and antimicrobials is also in response to the Thai National Strategic Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (2017–2021), established last year.

The strategic plan aims to reduce the resistance by half and drop antimicrobial use in humans and animals by 20% and 30% respectively.

CPF, one of Thailand's major food companies, has also announced a global policy on animal welfare which is based on the five-freedoms of animal welfare, among other animal health principles, to ensure of the happiness of its farmed animals.

“The company's animal welfare practices are based on the Five Freedoms of animal welfare, which consist of freedom from hunger and thirst, freedom from discomfort, freedom from pain, injury or disease, freedom to express normal behaviour and freedom from fear and distress,” Dr Payungsak Somyanontanakul, DVM, vice president at CPF explained.

Under this policy, all CPF’s pig farms in Thailand and overseas operations will replace individual stalls with group pens by 2025 and 2028 respectively, to provide a more humane environment for sows. For poultry business, all farms will be supervised by certified Poultry Welfare Officers before the close of 2020.

These policies are now implemented by all CPF businesses worldwide to ensure that all farmed animals live in healthy and comfortable life.

As reported by Charoen Pokphand Foods

Emily Houghton

Editor, The Pig Site

Emily Houghton is a Zoology graduate from Cardiff University and was the editor of The Pig Site from October 2017 to May 2020. Emily has worked in livestock husbandry, and has written, conducted and assisted with research projects regarding the synthesis of welfare and productivity of free-range food species.

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