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News 1297 views last update:Feb 25, 2016

McDonald’s to receive recognition for Good Sow Welfare

Compassion in World Farming is preparing to welcome McDonald’s UK on stage to receive a Good Sow Commendation at their sixth annual Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards to be held on 30 October in Paris and hosted by Sheila Dillon, food journalist and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Food Programme’.

McDonald’s Europe previously received a Good Egg Award in 2008 for its commitment to source only cage-free whole eggs across its entire European operation and this year Compassion will be awarding McDonald’s UK for its move to support the welfare needs of sows in its supply chain.  McDonald’s UK recently announced it was switching to 100% RSPCA Freedom Food pork across its entire menu, which means the company meets Compassion’s Good Sow Commendation criteria for breeding pigs. 

Joy Clachan from McDonald’s said:  “This is just the latest step by McDonald’s to provide our customers with responsibly-sourced food while demonstrating continuous improvement in farm animal welfare across our entire supply chain.  It is fantastic that Compassion is awarding us a Good Sow Commendation in recognition of our commitment to improve the welfare of breeding sows.”

Dr Tracey Jones, director of Food Business for Compassion in World Farming said: “By bringing higher welfare eggs and pork onto the high street at an affordable price, McDonald’s are leading the way, aligning the quality and sourcing of its ingredients with consumers’ changing preferences and expectations.  It’s important that large companies such as McDonald’s are seen to take ownership of the farm animal welfare practices used in their supply chain and to actively demonstrate greater transparency through their communications.  By doing so, they also have the opportunity to increase brand loyalty along the way. We encourage more food businesses to follow the McDonald’s example and hope that their Good Sow Commendation will help raise the profile of what they are doing.”

To be awarded a Good Sow Commendation, the following criteria must be met:
•    No confinement (sow stalls) during the dry period
•    No confinement during lactation (farrowing crates) – with an active monitoring/development programme for lowering pre-wean mortality
•    Provision of adequate manipulable material and bedding throughout life

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