Animal Welfare and Well-being

Humane handling of livestock has many important benefits. First, it is our ethical obligation to handle animals humanely. Also, mishandling animals can lead to meat quality issues. Stressful events can cause quality problems like "bloodshot" in beef or produce pale, soft and watery pork, both of which are unattractive to consumers and require that parts of the meat be trimmed away. Plants with optimal animal handling produce higher quality meat.

Good animal handling also enhances safety for workers. Animals that become agitated due to rough handling can injure workers – and themselves. Calm animals also are less likely to damage equipment – but a stressed or struggling animal might.

For these reasons, plants do everything possible to create calm, low-stress atmospheres that work with – rather than against – animals’ natural instincts. The benefits of these practices to workers, to meat quality, to equipment and most importantly to livestock are well-documented by scientific research.

 

Video Podcasts and Webinars

  • Grass or grain? Is there a definitively sustainable beef production system?

    03/22/2016

    The webinar examined the science relating to grass-fed and grain-fed beef in terms of sustainable... read more »

  • 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Update

    01/12/2016

    Kris Sollid, Registered Dietitian with the International Food Information Council and Sarah Romo... read more »

  • Meat in the Diet

    08/10/2015

    read more »

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