Tyson to audit treatment of animals
Posted: October 12, 2012 at 11:26 a.m.
Tyson Foods said Friday that a new program will audit how the thousands of livestock and poultry farms supplying the food processor treat their animals.
The Springdale-based company, which is one of the world's largest processors of chicken, beef and pork, said the FarmCheck Audit Program will include officials visiting more than 12,000 independent farmers, checking on animal access to food and water, proper human-animal interaction and worker training.
President and Chief Executive Officer Donnie Smith said Tyson is "determined to help find better ways to care for and raise healthy animals."
"Our company is made up of ethical, responsible and compassionate people, and we believe the family farmers who supply us share our values," Smith said in a news release. "We know more consumers want assurance their food is being produced responsibly, and we think two important ways to do that are by conducting on-farm audits while also continuing to research ways to improve how farm animals are raised."
The audit program has already launched on a trial basis at some hog farms using Tyson personnel. The program will expand by January 2014 to include chicken and cattle farms and it will ultimately "involve independent, third party auditors," Tyson said.
Smith said the company would work to correct problems uncovered by the audits, adding Tyson could drop suppliers "where animal treatment or conditions do not meet our standards."