Walmart, Sam’s Club announce new animal welfare, antibiotic positions
Walmart and Sam’s Club recently announced new positions on animal welfare and the responsible use of antibiotics in farm animals.
The retail giant said it endorses the globally accepted “Five Freedoms” of animal welfare. Under these guidelines Walmart is asking suppliers to:
- Report and take action against animal abuse
- Find and implement solutions addressing animal welfare concerns in housing systems, procedures, euthanasia and slaughter
- Promote transparency through progress reports to Walmart on an annual basis
In terms of responsible antibiotic use in farm animals, Walmart is asking suppliers to:
- Adopt the Judicious Use Principles of Antimicrobial use from the AVMA, which includes veterinary oversight, accurate record keeping and limiting antimicrobial use to animals that are ill or at risk
- Adopt the FDA Voluntary Guidance for Industry #209, which includes eliminating the use of medically important antibiotics as growth promotants
- Promote transparency by providing annual reports on antibiotic management to Walmart and the public
“Our customers want to know more about how their food is grown and raised, and where it comes from,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of Walmart Foundation and senior vice president of Walmart sustainability. “We appreciate the leadership our suppliers have shown to help us accomplish these goals.”
Last December Walmart and Sam’s Club introduced new safety measures for poultry suppliers designed to further protect customers against foodborne illnesses. The new guidelines required suppliers to implement “holistic controls from farm to fork designed to significantly reduce potential contamination levels, including chicken parts.” All poultry suppliers must be in compliance with the new requirements by June 2016, the company said.