Our animal welfare mission is to deliver on our purpose to raise the world’s expectations for how much good food can do by continuously improving the welfare of the animals entrusted to our care.
Our vision is to be the world leader in animal welfare through compassionate care based in sound science. Accomplishing this vision requires the efforts not just of our team members who have daily interactions with animals but also includes engagement with our senior leadership team.
FarmCheck® program, our U.S. industry-leading supply chain animal welfare program was developed to execute our mission and vision. This program is founded on four guiding pillars:
- Site Checks: Third-party auditors use statistically valid sampling methods to select and audit farms, verifying responsible animal care and welfare
- Advisory Panel: A panel of experts in the fields of farm animal behavior, health, production and ethics determines research priorities and reviews the audit programs
- Staff: A special team of leaders who partner with the external advisory panel to oversee audit programs, research efforts and interaction with business unit partners. Together, they develop and implement innovative animal welfare initiatives and practices
- Research: With guidance from the Advisory Panel, OAW reviews existing research while funding and promoting additional research for continued improvements in animal welfare
Learn more about our Farmcheck program here.
Caring about animals is inherent to who we are as a company. Our approach is grounded in sound science and the latest animal welfare research using innovative technology. This includes careful measurement of inputs and outcomes. We trust the animals to show us what types of environments best suit them and we use their demonstrated preferences to guide our decisions. We collaborate with internal and external subject matter experts to use ongoing research and engagement with experts to continuously improve the welfare of the animals entrusted to our care.
Our approach to animal welfare includes investments in:
- People: We have an unparalleled structure to support welfare culture and performance throughout our business. This includes our Office of Animal Welfare, which reports directly to the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) who sits on the Executive Leadership Team. We also have our external Animal Welfare Advisory Panel, a newly formed internal Global Animal Welfare Council and a team of animal welfare specialists embedded within our business units who help promote the importance of animal welfare across our company. Tyson Foods provides comprehensive instruction on best practices and processes for animal handling to our team members. Through this training we establish expectations and demand accountability.
- Research and Innovation: We invest in welfare research, technology and education. We leverage our proprietary research farms, as well as partnerships with other organizations that have an interest in advancing animal health and welfare. Our research focus is on welfare outcomes, such as mobility in cattle or paw scores in broilers. We use key welfare indicators to measure improvement, and transparently report our progress as well as challenges and opportunities. This research is holistic in nature, evaluating the impact of practices on welfare, environmental indicators and economics.
- Equipment and Facilities: Animal welfare not only involves the animals, but the environment that they are in. Because of this we continue to invest time and resources in our facilities through improvements in lairage structures, flooring, stunning equipment, dedicated research farms. In addition, animal welfare specialists work within our facilities to drive continuous improvement and apply research findings.
Tyson Foods reports on key welfare indicators and 3rd party audit results each year as a way of demonstrating progress and identifying opportunities in these two important measures of performance.
We use key welfare indicators (KWIs) that are outcome-based, making these valuable metrics because they measure how different aspects of a living environment impact an animal. We selected specific indicators to focus on what can be measured consistently across our operations. Our business leadership and the OAW approves these metrics, and we monitor progress by reviewing them throughout the year and reporting annually. Today’s KWIs are not a finish line, however—once we have met our targets, we add new KWIs as we strive for continuous improvement.
Tyson Foods holds membership and leadership positions in many organizations that promote animal health and welfare:
- American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP)
- American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
- Customer animal welfare committees
- International Poultry Welfare Alliance (IPWA)
- National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA)
- National Chicken Council (NCC)
- National Pork Board (NPB)
- National Pork Producers Council (NPPC)
- National Turkey Federation (NTF)
- North American Meat Institute (NAMI)
- Poultry Science Association (PSA)
- Professional Animal Auditor Certification (PAACO)
- Global Coalition for Animal Welfare (GCAW)