Nestlé to Overhaul Farm Animal Treatment Across the Globe

The world's largest food company has spoken: Cruelty on factory farms has got to go. Nestlé is the single biggest maker of food across the globe, with dozens of widely known brands such as Dreyer's, Lean Cuisine and Butterfinger. Today, the company announced an industry-leading animal welfare program that will eliminate many controversial-yet-currently-standard practices within its worldwide food supply chain. The announcement is the latest, and one of the biggest, in a series of actions by major food retailers, moving them away from an industrial-type production system that is callous and unforgiving toward animals.

Particularly, Nestlé's new program will cleanse its supply chain of the following practices: confinement of sows in gestation crates, calves in veal crates and egg-laying chickens in cages; the forced rapid growth of chickens used for meat products; and the harsh cutting of the horns, tails and genitals of farm animals without painkillers. Bundling all of these reforms together, this announcement marks the most comprehensive and ambitious animal welfare program by a global food retailer to date. It builds on the enormous momentum we have created for moving away from the intensive confinement of animals on factory farms and marks new progress on issues related to the routine mutilation of animals. It also sounds the death knell for selective breeding practices that compromise the health of animals in order to achieve accelerated growth.

Nestlé is also encouraging food sustainability by promoting the global Meatless Monday movement via on-package messaging on Lean Cuisine products.

Nestlé's policy follows dialogue with animal protection organizations, including The HSUS, Mercy For Animals and World Animal Protection. We are pleased to work with our colleagues in the field on such a major advance in farm animal welfare and sustainable agriculture. And we applaud Nestlé's leadership for this game-changing commitment.

This article first appeared on Wayne Pacelle's blog, A Humane Nation.