Nestlé, the world's largest food company, has announced its commitment to improving farmed animal welfare across its entire global supply chain - covering over 90 countries - in what may be the most comprehensive and far-reaching animal welfare policy of its kind.
The announcement follows the release of hidden-camera video taken by Mercy For Animals at a Nestlé dairy supplier in Wisconsin showing workers viciously kicking, beating, and stabbing cows and dragging "downed" cows by their fragile legs and necks using chains attached to tractors.
Citing the need for continuous improvement in animal welfare, Nestlé has announced it will eliminate many of the cruelest forms of institutionalized animal abuse from its supply chain, including an end to the practices of tail docking and dehorning of dairy cattle, an end to the castration of piglets without painkillers, and the phaseout of growth promoters for poultry. The mega company has also committed to ending the intensive confinement of baby calves in veal crates, pregnant pigs in gestation crates, and egg-laying hens in battery cages.
It is encouraging that Nestlé not only took notice, but also took action, after egregious cruelty was exposed at one of its dairy suppliers. Nestlé's new industry-leading policy will reduce the suffering of millions of animals each year and hopefully inspire other food providers to implement and enforce similar animal welfare requirements.
While there is still work to be done, Nestlé's new policy represents the most sweeping animal welfare policy ever adopted by a major food distributor. We hope that the rest of the food industry will follow Nestlé's lead in prohibiting the cruel confinement of animals in cages barely larger than their bodies, mutilations without painkillers, and other inhumane practices.
With Nestlé's announcement, it's never been clearer that the days are numbered for many of the factory farming industry's cruelest practices. It's now time for Walmart, McDonald's, and others to stop dragging their feet and use their power and influence to reduce the needless pain and suffering animals endure on factory farms.
Click here to sign the petition calling on Walmart to do away with cruel gestation crates in its pork supply chain.
Click here to sign the petition urging McDonald's to stop sourcing eggs for its Egg McMuffins from battery-caged hens.
And remember, the best step anyone can take to help stop cruelty to farmed animals is to transition to a delicious and humane vegan diet. For more information, visit ChooseVeg.com.