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Animal Welfare Schedule Gets Favourable Response

by 5m Editor
23 November 2009, at 2:45pm

CANADA - Maple Leaf Foods reports producers who supply hogs to its Brandon pork processing plant have responded favorably to it new animal handling policy schedule, writes Bruce Cochrane.

In response to growing consumer awareness of animal welfare issues many food service and food retailers across North America have adopted animal welfare policies, guidelines and standards.

How we affect meat quality and what Maple Leaf is doing to promote good handling at its Brandon processing plant were discussed last week as part of Saskatchewan Pork industry Symposium 2009.

Maple Leaf's director of procurement for western Canada Jason Manness says all truckers and producers who haul hogs into the Brandon plant now must be TQA or CLT trained and certified and they have responded well to that policy.

Jason Manness-Maple Leaf Foods

Maple Leaf has invested a lot of time and capital into our hog receiving barn in Brandon to ensure that we have best practices in the animal welfare field.

We have changed or updated and continuously improve a lot of our procedures on animal handling at the receiver door in Brandon and the moving of the hogs throughout our Maple Leaf barn.

We are also working with producers across western Canada who supply us hogs on animal welfare related issues.

The benefits are substantial.

Good animal husbandry skills result in less demeritable trim issues at the plant when hogs come to the plant.

They result in less condemned hogs and so those have a direct financial positive impact to the producer.

As well good animal handling practices result in better meat quality which is positive for Maple Leaf.


Mr Manness says upwards of 300 producer partners supply the Brandon plant so the challenges of ensuring everyone is on top of these issues are significant.

He notes Maple Leaf has added a new animal handling policy schedule to its Brandon contracts and that schedule has been received very favorably by producers.