Seaboard Farms is breaking new ground in the area of animal welfare and handling with a process for unannounced third-party animal welfare audits. Farm Animal Care Training and Auditing will conduct the audits.
FACTA, an organization of industry experts in animal handling and welfare, conducts independent, professional, science-based animal care training and auditing services based on individual farm benchmarking by credentialed auditors and educators.
The FACTA team includes John McGlone, a professor at the Pork Industry Institute at Texas Tech University, and industry leader in farm animal behavior, welfare and management research and education; and Temple Grandin, a professor at Colorado State University, recognized as a leading expert in the humane treatment of animals. She developed an objective scoring system used by companies worldwide to improve animal handling techniques.
"Seaboard Farms has an extensive internal animal handling and welfare education, auditing and training program,” says McGlone. “All that was lacking was the scrutiny of ongoing, third-party audits. FACTA will provide that service and more. Our staff of scientists will identify issues where necessary and provide leadership in implementation of the most science- based approach to humane animal handling in the industry today.”
As part of the program, FACTA will perform unannounced audits of Seaboard Farms' facilities and practices from farm to plant. Additionally, company records will be audited to ensure employee training and education meet high standards.
Rod Brenneman, Seaboard Farms president, is enthusiastic about the new relationship. "Animal welfare is an important issue. It has been proven many times that making animals comfortable by eliminating stress and caring for them in a humane manner will increase productivity. It makes good business sense, but even more important, it's simply the right thing to do," says Brenneman. "As a result of our new relationship with FACTA and their highly respected team of scientists and experts in the field, our customers, our employees and the public in general can feel confident that Seaboard Farms is committed to treating animals with the utmost care throughout our system."