AVMA Condemns Abuse at Sparboe, Lauds McDonald’s Decision
SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Nov. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) condemns the unacceptable handling of hens and their housing which was uncovered at one of the nation’s largest egg producers, Sparboe Farms.
In response to the investigative report by ABC News, McDonald’s announced that it would no longer use Sparboe Farms as a supplier of eggs for its restaurants.
“Holding suppliers responsible for the care they give animals is essential to ensuring that livestock are treated humanely in production and processing facilities,” says Dr. Gail Golab, director of the AVMA Animal Welfare Division. “The AVMA applauds McDonald’s for ensuring that their suppliers meet reasonable guidelines for animal welfare.”
“The AVMA carefully examined the pros and cons of various housing systems — from cages to free range,” Dr. Golab added. “We have established clear policy based on that analysis, and have conveyed that information to industry and humane organizations to ensure that animals are cared for humanely no matter which housing system is used. That makes incidents like this all the more frustrating and heartbreaking. What we observed on today’s video isn’t about whether hens should be kept in cages or on pasture; it’s about poor human behavior — period.”
AVMA policy states that hen housing systems must protect animals from injury and disease, allow for natural behaviors, and promote food safety. The policy also encourages farms to participate in third-party animal welfare audits to ensure that established standards are met. Dr. Golab also stresses that all farm workers must be trained, monitored and tested for competency. Accepted standards for good care must apply to every animal on the property, not just those destined for a particular supplier.
The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. More than 81,500 member veterinarians worldwide are engaged in a wide variety of professional activities. The year 2011 is being celebrated by veterinarians around the world as Vet2011, the 250th anniversary of the birth of veterinary medicine and education.
SOURCE American Veterinary Medical Association