With new scorecard, HSUS will hold food companies accountable on cage-free timelines

Over the past decade, our Farm Animal Protection team has
garnered commitments from major corporations to end cruel practices
that were once accepted as industry norms, including cramming
egg-laying hens into cages so tight, they can’t spread their wings.
Photo by iStockphoto

Our dynamic Farm Animal Protection team has been responsible for
a
seismic shift
in how the country’s largest food companies
address animal welfare. From Walmart, Safeway and Kroger to
Denny’s, IHOP and Panera Bread, to Smithfield and Perdue, major
corporations have worked with us to enact precedent-setting
policies on the treatment of animals used for food. Over the past
decade, we have garnered commitments from these corporations (and
hundreds more) to end cruel practices that were once accepted as
industry norms—like cramming egg-laying hens into cages so tight
that they can’t spread their wings, confining mother pigs in
gestation crates so small that they do not even have space to turn
around, and breeding chickens raised for meat to grow so large and
so fast that they suffer crippling leg deformities.

We’re extremely proud of our work in this arena, but we are
also aware that simply announcing change isn’t good enough.
What’s most critical for the animals is that the change actually
happens. Shifting agribusiness away from entrenched systems cannot
happen overnight, and most companies have adopted timelines for
abolishing these cruel practices (generally, 2022 for eliminating
gestation crates, 2024 for implementing better chicken-raising
practices in the meat industry, and 2025 for eliminating hen
cages).

To make sure that companies are indeed following their
timelines, and to keep them accountable, we are launching a new
initiative: our Food Industry Scorecard that will help us measure
the progress made by each of the companies that has pledged to
eliminate objectionable practices in its supply chain.

We have sent this inaugural scorecard to the country’s largest
food companies, and we will make the results public. Besides
ensuring that companies are enacting the commitments they have
previously made, the scorecard will help us identify the steps they
are taking to comply with animal welfare legislation we’ve
spearheaded through ballot measures, such as those in
California
and
Massachusetts
on the extreme confinement of farm animals, and
other means. We’ll also evaluate what the companies are doing to
adopt and promote plant-based foods.

We have come a long way since we began our work to improve the
lives of farm animals. Businesses now realize that in order to
remain viable, they need to recognize swelling consumer demand for
better animal treatment in the food supply. Globally too, Humane
Society International has made
major headway in improving the lives of farm animals
. From
India, Singapore, Indonesia to Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and
Argentina, we have worked with corporations and governments to make
enormous progress toward a global cage-free future for egg-laying
hens. We have worked within countries, including Brazil and Canada,
toward ending the use of gestation crates for pigs.

We’re also working with independent farmers who have made a
strong commitment to more humane husbandry, because we respect and
value their contributions in the broader social, cultural and
political debate over how animals used for food deserve to be
treated.

We understand that there is a long way to go, and that’s why
we act with a sense of urgency. Most of the pork industry’s six
million breeding pigs are locked up in gestation crates, and the
majority of the 300 million hens are still crammed into cages.
Billions of chickens raised for meat continue to suffer as well.
For these animals, and many others used in the food industry,
change couldn’t come sooner.

Our scorecard will help inform compassionate Americans about
which companies are making real progress. It will help corporations
that are working steadfastly on eliminating abusive practices
reassure consumers that they are delivering on their promises. And
it will help us ensure that after all the work that’s been done
to make these changes happen, we’ll be on track to usher in a new
day when animals used for food are able to lead much better
lives.

The post
With new scorecard, HSUS will hold food companies accountable on
cage-free timelines
appeared first on A Humane World.

Source: FS – Pets – A Humane Nation
With new scorecard, HSUS will hold food companies accountable on cage-free timelines