JBS USA is committed to providing the livestock and poultry under our care with comfortable and safe housing that meets their needs. Housing is key to protecting and improving the health and well-being of our animals
Our facilities meet or exceed industry guidelines to make sure that our animals are comfortable and safeguarded from extreme weather events, predators and vermin. In our production facilities, pen stocking rates are set according to NAMI Animal Handling Guidelines, CFIA Meat Inspection Regulations and AMIC Industry Animal Welfare Standards, and livestock must have access to clean water at all times.
Cattle in our and JBS Australia feedlots are housed in groups in open-pen, dirt lots. Pen stocking rates meet or exceed industry standards and are based on the animal’s expected final weight. Cattle have access to an unlimited supply of clean water and are fed twice daily. The pens are sloped for proper drainage during winter months and wet periods to provide cattle a dry place to lie down and reduce mud in the pens. For feedlots that are located in regions with extreme weather, shade is provided to prevent heat stress, and bedding is supplied to provide a dry and warm place to lie down in winter months. Most of our feedlots are also equipped with a sprinkler system to reduce dust.
The hogs raised by JBS USA Live Pork and our contract sow and finishing partners are housed indoors to promote health and welfare in varying geographic and adverse environmental conditions. Our sows are provided with unlimited access to clean water and are fed a nutritionally balanced diet based on life stage and individual body condition. Weaned and growing hogs in the nursery and finishing stages of production are provided with unlimited access to clean water and feed. Facilities are expected to be neat, clean and in good repair. Specific SOPs for maintaining animal comfort and housing are further defined in the JBS USA Live Pork Production Manuals and are provided to our contract partners. Climate-controlled ventilation systems are expected to be maintained to promote animal comfort, control humidity, deliver quality air and maintain desirable temperature according to hog size and life stage. Finally, emergency alert systems are required on farms to alert caretakers in the case of a ventilation or power failure.
JBS USA Live Pork has based its sow housing policy on the standard set in Colorado Senate Bill 08-201, which states, “A Gestating Sow [shall/may] be kept in a manner that permits the sow to stand up, lie down and turn around without touching the sides of its enclosure until no earlier than 12 days prior to the expected date of farrowing. For purposes of this standard, a ‘Gestating Sow’ shall mean a confirmed pregnant member of the porcine species with such confirmation typically occurring between days 40 and 45 of gestation. Until confirmation of pregnancy, such animals may be individually housed.”
“We are proud to be an industry leader in implementing housing facilities for our breeding sows that allow sows to express their natural group behaviors. The welfare of our animals is a priority today and will continue into the future.”
Matthew Turner, DVM
Head of Operations, JBS USA Live Pork Production
At Pilgrim’s, we contract with more than 5,400 family farm partners who raise breeder hens and broiler chickens. From the farmers’ barns to the Pilgrim’s production facilities, we require our team members and family farm partners to provide proper care to our chickens. Our family farm partners who raise our breeder hens which produce hatching eggs use fresh shavings as bedding material in hen houses. These shavings are clean, absorbent, free of sharp objects and resistant to fungal growth. Across all of our farms, our service technicians visit our breeders weekly to monitor chicken health. At our hatcheries, the temperature in the chick-holding room is targeted for chick comfort based on the chicks’ internal temperature. We monitor and document temperatures on an hourly basis, making any needed changes as soon as possible. We make sure our chicks have enough space and are not under direct air flow to prevent overheating. Before placing any chicks at a farmer’s broiler farm, we go through our Pre-Placement Checklist to make sure the farm and houses are neat and orderly, ventilation is ideal for brooding, ammonia levels are appropriate and lighting and bedding are in line with program requirements. In addition, in Europe, we are pioneering industry-leading initiatives to continually improve the housing of our poultry by providing environmental enrichment, windows and provision activities, such as perches and bales.
Maintaining our livestock facilities to ensure that our livestock and poultry are provided housing that meets our strict JBS USA standards requires substantial investments focused on repair and maintenance of our facilities. JBS USA will continue to prioritize these efforts going forward.