Our Animal Care

Responsibly Raising Animals 

Continuing to Change the Way We Raise Chickens

Our Commitments to Animal Care represents a revolutionary change in the way we think about raising chickens. We moved from thinking only about the things a chicken needs to considering what a chicken wants. In other words, what lets a chicken be a chicken?

Our Commitments to
Animal Care Program

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Our 2021 Commitments
To Animal Care Report

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We Believe in Responsibly Raising Animals for Food

Throughout our company’s 101-year history, we’ve recognized we have a responsibility to provide for the welfare of the animals in our care. It’s a fundamental part of our business. For us, animal welfare is a journey of continuous improvement.

Our Position on Animal Care and Welfare

At Perdue Farms, our vision is “to be the most trusted name in food and agricultural products®”. That trust extends to our animal care and welfare commitments, and we embrace our responsibility to ensure animals are treated with dignity and respect. In fact, animal welfare is an important part of our Company value of Stewardship.

Our standards for animal care are guided by the Five Freedoms, the globally accepted gold standard for animal husbandry, including:

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst
  • Freedom from discomfort
  • Freedom from pain, injury or disease
  • Freedom to express normal behavior
  • Freedom from fear and disease

For us, the Five Freedoms align with our animal care goal of going beyond giving animals what they need, to giving them what they want.

Our approach to animal care is a process of continuous improvement involving a wide range of stakeholders, with a commitment to transparency. We believe that welfare goes beyond meeting the physical needs of animals and that success is measured by more than efficiency and productivity.

We take a collaborative approach to animal care, adhering to strict requirements under the guidance of a team of veterinarians and animal welfare professionals, and input from third-party experts.

Mistreatment or abuse of animals is never tolerated. All associates handling live animals are provided training, including their responsibility to report any violations of our animal welfare policies. The farmers and ranchers who raise animals for us share in the responsibility to provide care according to our best practices and standards, and to alert us to any issues involving animal health or welfare. We regularly engage them for their input as part of our continuous improvement process.

All species that are raised and sourced for our brands and products are done so under the following standards:

  • The avoidance of confinement for all species.
  • No artificial or hormonal growth-promoting substances used, including beta antagonists or ractopamine.
  • Antibiotics will only be used when prescribed by a veterinarian with duration limits to ensure the best animal welfare for the animals.
  • An emphasis on the freedom to express natural behaviors through environmental enrichments suitable for each specific species.
  • Animals raised and sourced throughout our operations have not been subject to any genetic modification or are derived from cloned stock.
  • The avoidance of routine activities such as tail docking, teeth clipping/grinding on pigs, beak trimming on poultry and tail docking on cows.
  • Travel times for all poultry and livestock are kept to a minimum and our goal is to not exceed eight hours.
  • Animals that are rendered insensible prior to being harvested.
  • Compliance with all legislative standards and raising and sourcing all animals from animal welfare organizations such as Global Animal Partnership, Certified Humane, American Humane, USDA Certified Organic, United Egg Producers certified, National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management and USDA Processed Verified.

At Perdue Farms, we take pride in being an industry leader in animal care and remain committed to our journey of continuous improvement and doing the right things for the right reasons.  

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Animal Welfare Oversight and Authority

At Perdue Farms, we believe that animal welfare and good business are synonymous. Our stakeholders trust us to do the right thing. For us, animal welfare is a journey of continuous improvement, one in which we are committed to getting better by learning, listening and responding.

To guide our journey and ensure compliance to our current animal welfare programs at Perdue Farms, our activities follow these Best Practices and Guiding Principles:

Best Practices

  • The internationally accepted "Five Freedoms" as applied to raising animals.
  • Animal welfare practices should balance scientific knowledge and professional judgment with consideration of ethical and social values.
  • The actual care of animals should be foremost, not how humans might perceive a practice on farm environment.
  • Animals should be treated with respect throughout their lives and provided a humane death when processed for food or when they are euthanized for any reason. 

Guiding Principles

  • We hold ourselves accountable to our programs through our Senior Executive Animal Care Steering Team.
  • We have a Chief Animal Care Officer assigned for oversight of our programs and our USDA Processed Verified Program for Animal Care (Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization certified), which is fully supported by our Board and senior management.
  • We also have oversight from the Perdue Animal Care Council, composed of Perdue managers to provide corporate oversight and leadership. The council is also charged with reviewing recent advances in animal care and acts as a liaison with outside animal welfare experts.
  • We support all of our operations that harvest animals, including chicken, beef, pork, lamb and turkey, with certified animal welfare specialists to maintain our animal welfare standards.
  • We are third party audited throughout Perdue with every species by highly regarded certification agencies such as Certified Humane, American Humane, USDA Organic, Global Animal Partnership, USDA-AMS Process Verified Program and others in the industry.
  • We work with independent experts in animal husbandry to help guide and improve our animal welfare programs.
  • We provide a toll-free hotline where anyone can report welfare violations.
  • We provide formal welfare training and annual refresher training for all Perdue associates and contractors, including farmers and ranchers, who handle live animals.
  • We perform regular internal and external audits of our procedures to further strengthen our commitment and to guarantee continuous improvement of our processes.
  • We require all of the farmers and ranchers who raise animals for food to sign an animal welfare agreement to ensure our protocols and program standards are met.
  • We hold an annual Animal Care Summit, hog farmer weekend and beef summit with diverse stakeholders, including animal welfare advocates and experts, farmers, ranchers and customers.
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Tracking Our Progress
Continuous Improvement

Chickens

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Programs & Practices

Turkeys

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FAQs

Hogs

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FAQs

Cattle

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We're Raising Animals to Higher Standards

No Cages or Crates

No Antibiotics Ever

No Drugs for Growth Performance*

*While federal law prohibits the use of hormones and steroids in poultry and pork, we don’t use any growth-promoting drugs, including beta antagonists or ractopamine.

Freedom to Express Normal Behavior

All-Vegetarian Diet with No Animal By-Products

Audited and Verified



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Continuous Improvement

Tracking Our Progress

We keep looking forward.

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Programs & Practices

Programs & Practices

We ensure respectful animal treatment.

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FAQs

FAQs

Everything you need to know.

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Corporate Stewardship Report

Company Stewardship Report

Learn about the steps we're taking to reach our goal of becoming the most trusted name in food and agricultural products.

Consumer Brands
Perdue
Perdue Simply Smart Organics
Perdue Harvestland
Coleman Natural
Draper Valley
Petaluma Poultry
Niman Ranch
Panorama Meats
Spot Farms Pet
Full Moon Pet
Maxi
Business to Business
Perdue Foodservice
Perdue Foods
Perdue Foods International
Perdue agriBusiness