Upholding ethical principles, complying with the law and regulations and as demanded by our clients, Marfrig Beef strives to implement and maintain procedures to ensure continuous improvement in all animal management phases, seeking, to the best of its ability, to optimize its operations to uphold the five inherent animal freedoms*.
*As defined by the Farm Animal Welfare Council, currently known as the Farm Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC).
- Freedom from hunger and thirst
- Freedom from discomfort, by providing appropriate facilities
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease
- Freedom to express normal behavior
- Freedom from fear and distress**
** Distress: negative, intense stress that causes suffering and prevents the animal from adapting.
Animal welfare policy
Our policy is to produce safe, ethical food that respects the welfare of the animals and meets the standards required by law and demanded by our clients. We work in partnership with our suppliers and employees to emphasize the importance of animal welfare to as many people as possible by raising awareness, adopting more humane management practices, breeding better animals and ensuring the highest quality products.
Marfrig Beef regularly researches the scientific literature and works to develop better ways to manage animals to prevent stress. We have a department dedicated exclusively to addressing these issues. All beef processing units have at least one trained technician (zootechnician or veterinary) who works jointly with the employees involved to guarantee better animal stewardship and care.
The initiatives are based on scientific studies conducted in large part by Dr. Temple Grandin, who is a reference in animal welfare. After ensuring that this knowledge does in fact apply to our real situation, we worked to adopt curved chutes and circular crowd pens at our facilities, all with solid sides to avoid distracting the animals. We understand that even those animals that are the most resistant to our climate require thermal comfort, so our units are equipped with sprinklers to refresh the animals put in pens without disturbing them. Many units also have shading installed, with special covers that prevent the accumulation of gases that could perturb the animals, which are duly positioned to prevent behavioral problems that could lead to stress.
We work with various universities to continually improve our processes. We also maintain relations with one of the world's largest NGOs, World Animal Protection (WAP), formerly the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), to which Marfrig Beef contributed with training programs for its technicians, who will train professionals nationwide. Many of the materials recorded, photographed and distributed by WAP showing good management practices were made at our facilities, attesting to our commitment to and credibility in animal welfare.
Details on our main initiatives during the various phases follow: