At JBS USA, all of our facilities are audited regularly to guarantee compliance with our animal welfare programs. Depending on region, quality assurance personnel at each JBS USA livestock production facility conduct daily audits to verify adherence to USDA, NAMI (North American Meat Institute) Animal Handling Guidelines, the CFIA Meat Inspection Regulations and the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) Industry Animal Welfare Standards for Livestock and Processing Establishments. As a component of the animal welfare programs at each JBS USA production facility, livestock transporters are audited daily to verify adherence to JBS USA humane handling standards, the NAMI Transportation Guidelines, the CFIA Health of Animal Regulations Livestock Transport Requirements and the Australian Standard for the Hygienic Production and Transportation of Meat and Meat Products for Human Consumption. The transporters, schedulers and plant personnel are in constant communication with one another to ensure prompt delivery and safe unloading of animals at each facility. In addition, the procurement teams at every U.S. beef and pork production facility verify producer compliance with Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) or Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus certification and transporter compliance with Beef Quality Assurance Transportation (BQAT) or the National Pork Board’s Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) program.
Every production facility undergoes annual third-party animal handling audits by a PAACO-certified auditor. If a deficiency is identified, immediate corrective action is taken and internal follow-up audits are scheduled until the issue is resolved. We share corrective action strategies across the company so that all facilities can benefit from new knowledge and perspectives to drive continuous improvement in our approach to animal welfare. Finally, government inspectors monitor animal welfare practices to guarantee compliance with regulations.
In addition, we have implemented a video auditing system in most of our beef and pork production facilities. This allows us to conduct real-time internal auditing from a viewing room and provide team members with immediate feedback for improvement. In the U.S., our video footage and process is also audited remotely by Arrowsight®, an independent third party whose team members are trained in auditing to NAMI Animal Handling Guidelines. Audit alerts and daily summaries provide facilities with a third-party source of information for process improvement. This system complements our animal welfare program by enhancing our training programs to develop and improve animal handling skills in all of our production facilities.
In the U.S., we also verify that our supply chain partners who raise the cattle and hogs that we purchase are BQA or PQA+ certified by conducting third-party audits according to the BQA Feedyard Assessment for cattle and the Common Swine Industry Audit (CSIA) for hogs.
At Pilgrim’s, in the U.S., animal welfare audits are conducted on a minimum of an annual basis at production facilities by PAACO-certified auditors. Both Pilgrim’s Quality Assurance personnel and USDA Inspectors monitor animal welfare practices at our production facilities daily to ensure that chickens are handled and slaughtered as per both the company and NCC Guidelines. In Mexico, our animal welfare programs are aligned with the Buenas Prácticas Pecuarias en la Producción de Pollo En Engorda de SAGARPA y SENASICA. In Europe, all Pilgrim’s Moy Park poultry farms are Red Tractor approved and meet or exceed Red Tractor, Bord Bia or equivalent welfare standards. Annually, an external auditor audits each farm to Red Tractor standards, which results in Assured Chicken Production (ACP) Certification. Our Pilgrim’s Moy Park production facilities are audited according to the Council Regulation N˚1099/2009 standards on animal welfare. Animal welfare audit results and key performance indicators are integrated into the Pilgrim’s quality assurance data-sharing platform. Data is collected and entered in real time, enhancing our ability to share best management practices across the company and improve animal welfare performance.
JBS USA Live Pork farms are regularly assessed by production field managers, veterinarians and the Director of Animal Welfare to ensure that the health and well-being of our animals are maintained. Field managers conduct regular farm visits to measure animal production, health and welfare. When necessary, corrective actions are outlined with caretakers and additional training is administered as needed. The Director of Animal Welfare and Animal Welfare Manager conduct second-party site assessments as part of the National Pork Board’s Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA+) program to verify that caretakers are providing care in accordance to industry standards. In addition to internal audits, JBS USA Live Pork participates in third-party animal welfare audits using the CSIA tool. The CSIA is a PAACO-certified common, on-farm audit system developed by a task force of industry stakeholders including producers, veterinarians, animal scientists, processers, and retail representatives to provide consumers with greater assurances regarding animal well-being and food safety practices.
In Australia, our feedlots are subject to annual third-party audits as part of the National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme (NFAS), which includes mandatory biannual internal animal welfare audits according to Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle.