ANIMAL WELFARE IN SUPPLY CHAINs
HOW WE CAN HELP
Sinergia Animal can help companies develop policies and implement long-term strategies to improve animal welfare standards in their supply chains.
Currently, our main focus of actuation is on the egg industry, as it presents the most pressing problems for farm animals in Thailand.
Many international companies have already committed to transition gradually to only sourcing cage-free eggs in their supply chains. See who they are and check their policies below.
If your company is willing to join this very important movement, our team can help you.
Sinergia Animal can provide assistance in the development of laying hen welfare policies that are clear and transparent, thus assuring recognition and trust by various stakeholders such as investors, suppliers, consumers and other entities from the third sector.
We can also help with marketing communications and promote this policy on the mainstream media and our own social media channels.
As animal welfare policies usually need up to seven years to be fully implemented, we can help businesses set achievable yearly goals and our team can provide constant support during the whole implementation period.
MAPPING YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN
We can visit your current suppliers and inform them why animal welfare improvements are needed and what steps they can take to move towards cage-free systems that provide adequate welfare levels for laying hens.
Our team can also organize workshops and other type of business-to-business events led by animal welfare experts to raise awareness among suppliers and teams working in procurement, sustainability and strategy to understand and address the key welfare issues.
We also work constantly to identify pioneer farms that are investing in cage-free systems. You can send you a list of suppliers and organize visits to their farms.
Sinergia Animal is a not-for-profit animal protection NGOs. We do not charge for our help.
If your company wants to adopt an animal welfare policy, we will do all we can to help. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHY YOUR COMPANY SHOULD CARE
Nearly 100% of the 56 million hens used in commercial egg production in Thailand spend their entire lives confined in small wire enclosures known as “battery cages”. In these cages, these birds are forced to live their entire lives without even being able to walk or spread their wings completely. They live sad and deprived lives, under constant stress and frustration.
Battery cages are considered of the cruelest and most controversial forms or animal confinement by animal welfare experts. Each cage confines 5 to 10 animals, and each hen has a space smaller than a letter-sized sheet of paper to live. Many do not survive and those who manage to live are often forced to live with the remains of those who died.
The lack of movement often weakens the bones of hens confined in battery cages and they can suffer from bone fractures and painful diseases such as osteoporosis.
Due to this enormous cruelty, conventional battery cages have already been banned throughout the European Union, Bhutan, New Zealand and various American states. Canada has also committed to gradually ending this type of confinement.
Scientific research from renowned experts prove that chickens are just as cognitively, emotionally and socially complex as most other birds and mammals in many areas. They can experience complex emotions, such as fear, stress, joy and empathy.
WHY CAGE-FREE SYSTEMS
In cage-free systems, chickens live in sheds without outdoor access. This means they do not have the opportunity to go out into an area with grass or dirt.
However, these systems can significantly improve animal welfare. Inside the sheds, the hens have enough space to walk, move around and access enriched areas that have nest boxes to lay eggs, areas with straw or sand to forage and perches to climb and roost.
If cage-free systems that have an animal welfare certification, they will only use vegetarian feed and will not allow the continuous use of antibiotics.
FREE-RANGE AND ORGANIC FARMS
Free-range and organic systems offer even more space and opportunities for hens to engage in their natural behaviors.
Hens have access to pastures to enjoy the sunlight and spend their time digging the ground, looking for insects and food.
They are fed only with vegetarian food and cannot receive antibiotics continuously. The organic system requires that animal feed is produced without the use of pesticides or other chemical products.
IMPROVED FOOD SAFETY
Eggs are often contaminated by salmonella, a bacteria that sickens thousands of people around the world every year and can even kill, especially children.
The largest study ever conducted comparing salmonella contamination in cage versus cage-free systems was done by the European Food Safety Authority.
This analysis found 43% lower likelihood of Salmonella Enteritidis contamination in cage-free barns, where hens are raised in closed barns than in cage production. In organic egg production the likelihood of Salmonella contamination was 95% lower. In free-range production the odds were 98% lower.
For Salmonella Typhimurium, there was 77% lower likelihood of salmonella contamination in cage-free barns compared to cages and 93% lower odds in organic and free-range systems.
For the other Salmonella serotypes, compared to operations with hens in cages, there was 96% lower odds in barn systems, 98% lower odds in organic flocks, and 99% lower odds in free-ranging birds.
LOWER ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT
In farms that use more natural systems - such as cage-free, free-range and organic, animals are often fed only vegetarian feed. On the other hand, industrial factory farms use animal feed - such as fish meal - to feed the animals.
Research has indicated that we can reduce the environmental impact of egg farms, for example, by only using vegetarian feeds. Researchers from the University of British Columbia have concluded in a study that if hens used to produce eggs only received organic and vegetarian feeds, CO2 emissions from egg farms can be reduce by more than 50%.
The use of fish meal to feed farm animals deserves a lot of attention. According to the United Nations, around 15 million tons of wild fish are currently caught each year to produce fish meal and a significant percentage of this production is used in chicken farms.
Also according to the United Nations, over 70 percent of the world’s fisheries are either ‘fully exploited’, ‘over exploited’ or significantly depleted’.
Some species have already been fished to commercial extinction, and more are on the verge of extinction.
The state of our oceans and the threat posed by climate change are issues we cannot ignore. It is time to care and support more sustainable farms that only use vegetarian feeds.