USA, Salisbury, Maryland. Perdue Farms announced animal care improvements that have elevated the welfare of its chickens and promised to meet growing customer and consumer demand for poultry raised to higher welfare standards. The details are outlined in the release of the company’s first annual report on progress since its comprehensive 2016 commitment to accelerate its advancements in animal care.
Perdue’s recent improvements include:
Giving chickens more space, more light during the day and longer lights-off periods for rest
Increasing the number of chicken houses with windows
Continuing to study the role of enrichments in encouraging active behavior
Raising and studying slower-growing chickens
Moving to controlled-atmosphere stunning (CAS)
Strengthening relationships with farmers
As the fourth largest poultry company in the U.S. – representing seven percent of the nation’s chicken production – Perdue’s progress and commitment indicates a sizeable shift away from industry standards and toward addressing customer and consumer concerns around animal welfare, including issues related to fast growth.
Going forward, Perdue will continue to progress using the Five Freedoms, a globally accepted standard for animal husbandry that goes beyond animals’ “needs” to include their “wants,” and to involve the farmers who raise its chickens. Specific advancements will include studying a fully enclosed, climate-controlled de-stress staging area for birds that arrived at the plant, continued work with slower-growing chicken breeds and further implementation of controlled atmosphere stunning.