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Industry NewsMaple Leaf Foods ranked among global leaders in farm animal welfare

Maple Leaf Foods ranked among global leaders in farm animal welfare

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Maple Leaf Foods today was ranked among a list of global leaders in animal welfare by the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW), a global measure of policy commitment, performance, and disclosure on animal welfare in food companies.

Following its review of 150 companies in 25 countries, BBFAW ranked Maple Leaf Foods in Tier 2, a position occupied by just 12 companies. Only four companies are ranked in Tier 1. The ranking recognizes Maple Leaf as one of only two North American protein companies in the top two tiers and the only Canadian-owned company to achieve the distinction.

Said vice president of animal care, Kathleen Long, DVM: “We’re proud of our recent, full conversion of all our sow barns to our Advanced Open Sow Housing system that enables our sows to choose when they eat, socialize, play and rest. We appreciate our collaboration with the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare as we strive for ongoing, continuous improvement in our animal care programs.”

Maple Leaf Foods’ other animal care initiatives include:

  • Deployment of trucks with hydraulic lifts to reduce pig stress when boarding and exiting trucks.
  • Purchase of temperature-controlled poultry trailers to protect chickens during extreme cold weather conditions common in regions where Maple Leaf Foods operates.
  • The use of enrichments in nursery, finisher, and sow barns to encourage pigs to play and chew as they naturally would. 
  • Researching and piloting of a variety of enrichments in poultry barns that encourage chickens’ natural behaviours to hide, perch and peck. These enrichments also promote leg health in chickens by encouraging chickens to stay active.

In addition, Maple Leaf Foods is committed to raising all of its animals in ways that ensure optimal health and minimize the need for antibiotics. The company is among North America’s largest producers of raised without antibiotics (RWA) pork and is Canada’s largest producer of RWA poultry.

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