Monday, June 19, 2017

Poultry processors collaborate on welfare

Poultry processor associations in Canada and the United States have decided to collaborate on animal welfare protocols.

The U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Poultry & Eggs (US-RSPE) and the International Poultry Welfare Alliance (IPWA), met to discuss ways to collaborate to advance, support and communicate continuous improvement in sustainability and animal welfare through leadership, innovation, multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration.

Canada’s involvement is via the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council.

It was on the firing line last week after Mercy for Animals released a video of a chicken-catching crew kicking, throwing, pulling off a leg and abusing chickens at a farm near Chilliwack, B.C.

Elite Farm Services fired the on-site manager and his five-man crew and has decided to equip its staff with video cameras to monitor behaviour.

The council issued a statement saying “we have already started the process of meeting with the industry partners and we are committed to continue leading representative from all parts of the industry in the coming weeks, to review and strengthen current practices and prioritize any necessary changes, to ensure that the care of our birds, at every point in the value chain, meets the highest standards.”

The groups that have decided to collaborate said they will use research, education and outreach to try to keep on top of current and emerging concerns related to animal welfare and sustainability.

The groups decided to offer a joint membership so stakeholders within the poultry and egg value-chain can benefit from both sustainability and animal welfare discussions.

They are now trying to recruit an executive director.