Walmart, Sam's Club Pressuring Suppliers to Meet New Animal Welfare RequirementsFri, 22 May 2015 16:14:40 CDT
Walmart and Sam’s Club is demanding more from its suppliers in improving animal welfare. On Friday, the nation’s largest retailer released its position and farm animal welfare requirements. Walmart said the effort was to meet the demands of consumers in delivering products that are produced in a sustainable way. In evaluating the full company policy, it’s more about meeting the demands of animal rights activists.
“We believe that farm animals in our supply chain should be treated humanely throughout their lives and that the welfare of farm animals should be considered in selection of all production systems, practices and technologies. Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. are committed to continuous improvement in the welfare of farm animals in our supply chain.”
Walmart stated they support the “five freedoms” of animal welfare in that animals should be free from hunger, thirst, discomfort, pain, injury or disease, ability to express normal behavior and free of fear and distress.
Walmart and Sam’s Club also asked its U.S. fresh and frozen meat, dairy and egg suppliers to report and take corrective action in any cases of animal abuse, adopt and implement the principles of five freedoms and promote transparency by providing an animal welfare report to Walmart.
The policy also wants suppliers to implement solutions to housing systems like sow gestation crates, battery cages and veal crates. The also includes finding solutions to tail-docking, dehorning and castration.
The animal rights group the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) made the following response on their website.
“This announcement helps create an economy where no agribusiness company—for business reasons alone—should ever again install a new battery cage, gestation crate, or veal crate. Walmart is helping drive the transition away from immobilizing cages and other inhumane practices, and toward a more humane, more sustainable approach to production agriculture.
“This is an unstoppable trend, and that was the trajectory even before Walmart made the announcement. The company’s embrace of a more ethical framework for the treatment of all farm animals serves as perhaps the most powerful catalyst for change throughout animal agriculture.”
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