See the details in our Company Stewardship Report.
Treating animals with respect means going beyond the minimum to keep animals healthy and to produce safe food. We view animal care as a journey of continuous improvement, evolving with advancements in animal husbandry and behavior, consumer questions and public concerns. This responsibility stretches across all of our raising programs and is shared by the farm families we trust to raise animals for us.
Our programs are designed so that we can raise animals in a reduced-stress environment where we don’t need to rely on human or animal antibiotics to keep them healthy, and we never use drugs for growth promotion or artificial growth promoters.
of chickens raised under no-antibiotics-ever protocols
of hogs raised under no-antibiotics-ever protocols
of hog production third-party verified
of animals raised under documented responsible care protocols
of farmers and associates handling live animals receive welfare training
USDAProcess Verified Programs for all poultry
0gestation or farrowing crates for hogs
Toll-free hotline to report welfare violations
of poultry houses have windows
of poultry houses have enrichments
of poultry houses have outdoor access
Our third Animal Care Summit coincided with the release of our 2018 Perdue Commitments to Animal Care update report. We reported on our continued progress, including:
As part of our pledge "to be transparent in our programs, goal and progresses," we committed to share key animal care metrics, openly criticize ourselves when appropriate, and honestly and respectfully answer those who constructively criticize us.
In our second appearance in the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare, we were among the top 17 companies in the world and the top two in the U.S. Even with tightening standards, we remained at Tier Two ranking. Our continued efforts to change how we raise chickens, Niman Ranch animal protocols and the Coleman Natural move to 100 percent crate-free pork production all contributed to our score.
At our Research Farm, we’re learning about different chicken breeds and studying the effects of brighter light, more space, outdoor access and enrichments—all part of our continuous improvement in poultry care.
Keeping the promises made in our Perdue Commitments to Animal Care, we followed up the move to controlled atmosphere stunning at our Milford, Del., harvest plant with a $20-million capital investment to further improve live bird handling, beginning at the farm.
Newly designed transport modules and dedicated truck trailers reduce stress and the risk of injury while improving bird comfort from the farm to the harvest plant. At the plant, trailers are moved to an enclosed, temperature-controlled room. Transport modules are then transferred to the controlled atmosphere stunning system, eliminating the dumping of live birds onto the conveyor belt, while the controlled atmosphere stunning system renders the birds irreversibly unconscious before they are transferred to the processing line.
As part of our journey of continuous improvement in animal care, we engaged our farmers to create better poultry house enrichments that allow chickens to do what they do naturally—act like chickens. In fact, we launched a “New Chicken Enrichment Contest” to engage farmers and their families to submit ideas. Who better to create a better enrichment than those who spend the most time with our birds and probably best understand their behaviors than the farmers who care for them daily?
We’re committed to meeting the demand from current and future customers for poultry raised to higher welfare standards, including the “2024” criteria outlined in the “Joint Animal Protection Organization Statement on Broiler Chicken Welfare Issues” and by the Global Animal Partnership (GAP).