Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Walmart announces plans to improve animal welfare conditions

Walmart, the nation's largest grocery retailer and a staple in many rural areas, on Friday announced plans to improve animal welfare conditions, Daniel Enoch reports for Agri-Pulse. While dozens of companies have announced similar plans in recent years, Walmart's decision could be game-changer, said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. Pacelle said in a statement that Walmart's announcement "signals to agribusiness that the era of confining farm animals is ending.

Walmart said in a statement that it supports the Five Freedoms of animal welfare—Freedom from Hunger and Thirst; Freedom from Discomfort; Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease; Freedom to Express Normal Behavior; and Freedom from Fear and Distress.

Walmart said it is asking suppliers to: report to authorities and take appropriate disciplinary and corrective action in any cases of animal abuse; adopt and implement the principles of the Five Freedoms in their own operations and industry producer programs and publish a corporate policy on animal welfare; find and implement solutions to address animal welfare concerns; and promote transparency by providing an animal welfare report to Walmart and publicly reporting against their animal welfare policy on an annual basis.

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