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The largest turkey producer in the United States, Butterball LLC has implemented significant additions and changes to its animal care and well-being program, in a bid to set industry standards for the nation’s turkey producers.
Dedicating considerable resources over the past 18 months, the Garner, N.C.-based company has taken steps to renew and aggressively bolster its commitment to ensuring the safety and care of its animals across four key focus areas:
- Formation of the Animal Care and Well-Being Advisory Council: Butterball has created a new, independent council of animal and poultry experts, among them renowned animal behaviorist Temple Grandin, to help address important animal care, well-being and food safety issues today and going forward.
- Better Employee Training: As its employees are responsible for the welfare of its animals, Butterball has beefed up and enhanced its training program to ensure all employees are up to date on company animal welfare standards, including its zero-tolerance policy.
- Independent American Humane Association (AHA) Certification: This is the United States’ first independent, third-party humane certification program for farm animals, according to the company, which noted that through stringent inspections and examinations, the Washington, D.C.-based AHA audits and certifies that the company meets or surpasses Humane Certification standards.
- Continuous Improvement of Operational Processes: Based on the advice of the AHA and the advisory council of experts, Butterball is rating on-farm and operational processes as a way to ensure the best animal care and handling procedures.
“At Butterball, our goal is nothing less than offering the richest, tastiest, most satisfying turkey products,” the company said in unveiling its new practices. “For us, that also has to mean the best cared-for, most ethically raised and healthiest turkeys we can produce.”