WATT PoultryUSA - December 2017 - 6
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McDonald's broiler welfare vow
involves 14 global markets
Seventy percent of the fast food company's global chicken supply will be
affected by the new welfare commitment.
McDonald's has revealed a broiler welfare commitment that
will involve 70 percent of its global broiler supply chain.
The company, on October 27, announced a new
broiler welfare policy to be implemented by 2024 in the
U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland,
the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain,
Switzerland and the U.K.
Unlike most previous broiler welfare commitments,
McDonald's made no mention of sourcing only broilers
according to standards approved by the Global Animal
Partnership (GAP) or Royal Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), but rather as chickens that
are raised with "improved welfare outcomes."
About the new policy
The criteria for the new broiler welfare policy are:
■ Sourcing chickens for the McDonald's system that are
raised with improved welfare outcomes. The company
plans to set targets, measure performance and report on
key farm-level welfare outcomes across its largest markets.
■ Partnering with technology companies, producers and
suppliers to develop on-farm monitoring systems to automate the gathering of key animal health and welfare
indicators, including behavioral measures. Once established, these technologies will highlight potential areas
for improvement in real time and will be among the
first of their kind available at a commercial scale.
■ Requiring chickens to be raised in housing environments that promote natural behaviors such as peck-
ing, perching and dust-bathing. These behaviors are
encouraged through enrichments, such as the provision of perches and pecking objects, access to floor
litter 100 percent of the time, and providing a minimum of 20 lux light intensity during photoperiods,
with a minimum of 6 hours of darkness (4 hours to be
continuous) during a 24 hour time period, reflecting
scientific evidence from poultry experts.
■ Conducting commercial trials across select markets in
partnership with our largest global chicken suppliers
to study the effect that various production parameters
have on key welfare outcomes within large-scale, commercial conditions. These trials will measure the effects of inputs such as lighting, stocking density (space
allowance) and genetics. This will enable McDonald's
to identify best practices that support improved farm
welfare outcomes in specific climates across the globe.
■ In the U.S. and Canada, transitioning to sourcing chickens that have been stunned by the use of controlled
atmosphere stunning (CAS), a method that is approved
by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ December 2017