Meat Institute Updates Its Animal Handling Guidelines & Audit


Source: Meat Institute news release

To help members drive continuous improvement in the meat industry, the Meat Institute has updated its Animal Handling Guidelines and Animal Welfare Audit to include scores for each criterion allowing members to set goals. The Meat Institute also released a new bison animal welfare audit.

The guidelines and audit were authored by the Meat Institute’s Animal Welfare Committee, working with Colorado State University Professor of Animal Behavior Dr. Temple Grandin. The audit was certified by the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization.

“The Meat Institute has a longstanding commitment to animal welfare. It is especially important to track and improve animal handling for the well-being of the animals and the safety of workers,” said Julie Anna Potts. “Through these updated guidelines, and as part of the Protein PACT, Meat Institute companies continue to advance high standards of animal care.”

For the new animal handling guidelines, additional resources and all of the audit forms, go here.

The Meat Institute will be highlighting the updated guidelines and audit changes next week in Kansas City, MO. The conference topics will focus on improving animal welfare throughout the supply chain and prioritizing safe animal handling. For more information click here.

The Meat Institute is also publishing stunning and body condition scoring guidance for meat and poultry companies to help improve animal welfare.

The Meat Institute’s audit was originally developed by the Animal Welfare Committee and Grandin in 1997 and its adoption by meat companies helped transform how livestock are handled and processed in meat plants. By measuring objective criteria like animal vocalizations, falls, prod use to move animals, and effective stunning, plants evaluate their animal handling practices, identify problems and drive continuous improvement.

About the Meat Institute

The Meat Institute represents the full community of people and companies who make the majority of meat American families rely on every day. The Meat Institute’s hands-on regulatory and technical expertise, proactive advocacy, unique convening power, collaboration within and beyond animal agriculture, and sector-leading continuous improvement initiatives drive relationships and resources that ensure meat continues to be a vital, trusted pillar of healthy diets and thriving communities for generations to come. To learn more, visit:


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