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Global Food Companies in Farm Animal Welfare Issues in UKMultiple Chapters

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Policies of Government and public organization in relation to farm animal welfare (Pigs, broiler chicken and laying hen)

The Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) that advices the UK legislation procedures and Assurance Standards focused on 'Five Freedoms' cognizant with animal welfare as the basis of practice to rear livestock and poultry animals in 1992. These criterions are applicable across the EU, and UK takes the lead in assuring animal welfare through legislations as well as public awareness. The Five Freedoms are as follows:

Freedom from hunger and thirst; Freedom from discomfort; Freedom from injury, pain or disease; Freedom to express normatively and Freedom from fear and distress (FAWC, 1992).

Towards compliance of the Five Freedoms enumerated, the practice followed by the farmers and producers need to follow certain guidelines:

Measuring the outcomes of practices followed; paying close attention to stunning and unconscious stage until death; no transport of live animals; and monitoring the health of livestock in the farm, assuring outcomes of welfare guidelines.

In the UK, it is imperative that farmers desirous of animal farming adhere to organic farming methods. The pigs, chicken and laying hens can be raised only on farms that are treated through organic methods for 24 months' organic conversion. The land should not be subjected to inorganic pesticides, fertilizer or genetically modified feed for at least 12 months prior to the conversion. (Soil Association Certification Limited). The maximum number of birds allowed per hectare (Ha) follows this stipulation- The maximum number of laying hens is 100/Ha, and Broilers is 2500/Ha. The feed given to both the category of birds should ideally be 100% organic, of which a maximum of 10% approved, synthetic feed is allowed in case there is difficulty in obtaining required quantity of organic feed. Additionally, there are strict rules against beak-clipping of hens and indiscriminate use of disinfectants for parasite attacks. The Welfare Of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007 require that the new 'enriched' cages be provided for laying hens, for a farm having less than 350 laying hens. Each bird is allotted a space of at least 750 cm2, individual nesting and perching space of 15 cms - 12 cms. Feeding trough must have appropriate living conditions. The barns, on the other hand, should have a density of at the most 9 birds per m2, with a litter of 250 cm2 . Due care of free range birds, caged or barn hens from harsh weather, predators and health risks need to be assured .

In the UK, only free range, organic farming system for laying hens are allowed under the new rules as described in the EU regulations. The most preferred grazing areas under these rules require mobile houses. Fixed housing is illegal. Given the maximum number of laying hens, the resting period for the grazing areas, a maximum of 2000 laying hens or 1000 chicken (meat) may be raised in a hectare. Care should be taken that; the 'daylight' should not exceed 16 hours per day if artificial lighting is used. The Class A (for human consumption) eggs sold at retail should comply with EU norms and state explicitly the place and country of origin, and the method of production- organic, free-range, caged or barn raised. The eggs should be stamped with such information through specified coding standards. Coding is essential for eggs procured from third countries, too. Those with Salmonella are Class B eggs (marketed after pasteurization). (www.gov.uk/poultry-farms-general-regulations).

Transportation

The maximum transportation time of the birds from the farm to the slaughter house must not exceed 8 hours. While in transport, care should be taken that the birds do not suffer abrupt changes in weather conditions and there is enough space for them to rest, stand up and roam freely.

There are no statutory requirements governing the rearing, feeding, housing and management of pigs. However, the farmers are legally bound to welfare codes that may be used to back up cases of offence (welfare of animals). However, in the UK, since 1999, confined sow stalls for breeding of pigs is banned. Also, since piglet mortality is a concern owing to the weight of the sows, farrowing crates are used. This in turn leads to the contradiction to the confined raising of pigs which needs careful consideration. Since 2010, the inspectors in England measure light intensity in pens, the housing for pigs of different age groups of boars and fattening pigs in addition to slot width, slat openings, stalls and pens. The slatted floor type arrangement for pigs should have an opening varying from 11mm for piglets to 80 mm for sows, rearing pigs and gilts after service. (DEFRA). A light intensity of 40 lux should be maintained at all times when artificial lighting is used during daytime. The optimal temperature for farrowing accommodation is set at 18-20 degrees with the floors covered by straw, mat or other dry and suitable material. The appropriate time for Weaning piglets is 28 days. (www.gov.uk/pig-welfare-regulations) Department of Environment, food and Rural Welfare, 24th aug 2012).

The UK has banned close confinement of pigs for breeding sows since 1999. Schedule 8 of Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007. The transportation of pigs can be done only under guidelines provided for in the Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order 1997 (S.I. 1997 No. 1480) Schedule 2, Part II, paragraph 15, (found on the website http://adlib.everysite.co.uk/adlib/defra/content.aspx?id=000IL3890W.183K2G4ORXWAC2.

And Legislation.gov.uk. And www.gov.uk/pig-welfare-regulations). The SMR 17 on the RPA website (Rural Payments Agency) details the regulations concerning management of pigs in UK.

2. The case study of Mark and Spencer

2.1 Review of company CSR practices: writing what are their CSR practices in this area (150 words)

The thrust of Mark and Spencer regarding CSR is that it is integral to their business (Mark and Spencer- CSR report, 2005; arts.brighton.ac.uk/__.../).Their belief is that their CSR activity is designed in such a way that the activities create value for all the stakeholders- the employees, customers, dealers and outlets. Their CSR activities are not necessarily philanthropic in nature; they, rather create an environment that is conducive to business and sustainability. The first principle itself takes into account Quality management systems, animal welfare and global sourcing methods. Beginning 2005, the company started appointing external audit and evaluation experts to complement the efforts of the in-house teams in achieving the outcomes pursuant with their animal welfare policy. As a proactive measure, the organization funds a four-year postgraduate research program at the University of Surrey. The 'Food Miles' research project aims to identify and measure the environmental impact of policies it follows in sourcing food. Already, Marks and Spencer have earned accolades as the best retailer in RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), 2004 Conscientious Consumer Guide for many of its products because of the policies implemented and practices followed (Mark and Spencer- CSR report, 2005). In addition to its policies on food that it follows diligently, the animal welfare policies also extend the reach to animal products they use for footwear, clothing, and beauty products.

2.2 Finding (Evaluation): interpret and evaluate their CSR animal welfare practice of Pigs, broiler chicken and laying hen: For example, what they focus on, which CSR tools in case study can they imply or engage in, Is there anything they ignore or should include (but they didn't include) in those CSR practices, what do those practices mean toward public sector (300-400 words)

Marks and Spencer took the initiative back in 1997 to sell free-range eggs through their retail outlets. They went further and by 2002, became the only major retailer to use free-range eggs in all their food products. In alignment with animal welfare and Compassion programs, they worked on 20 more areas towards better living conditions for poultry birds, livestock and pigs. Consequently, they went on to win the Most Advanced Supermarket in the Welfare Ideal segment (see www.ciwf.co.uk for more information). They profess a concern for balance between animal welfare and efficiency in food production. Their concern for organic growth becomes evident as starting 2003, the diet of birds stopped consisting of growth promoting antibiotics, and their living conditions included shelters made of conifer branches. Even their natural habitat was restored by providing for straw bales for resting. For the pigs, M&S shifted to a Scottish supplier in 2004 who had reared pigs the natural way and the pork tasted better, too. The natural habitat for the pigs was monitored and kept natural while allowing them free space to move. The bedding for the pigs was made of straw (Marks and Spencer CSR report 2003 -4). For products made from animal skins, M&S depends on those farms that are dedicated to food production. To further the cause of animal welfare M&S is seeking the help of welfare groups and voluntary organizations so that the concerns can be addressed in a more proactive manner. Ever since 1988, they have stopped using animals for testing purposes in beauty products and have encouraged its suppliers to follow similar practices (Marks and Spencer CSR report 2003… [END OF PREVIEW]

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