Leprino Foods, the world’s largest mozzarella cheese maker and a supplier to Pizza Hut, Domino’s, and Papa John’s restaurants, has just announced the most comprehensive animal welfare policy ever adopted by a major U.S. dairy company. It includes an aggressive, industry-leading commitment to eliminate tail docking, which will reduce the suffering of thousands of cows each year.
The precedent-setting policy was prompted by a shocking undercover investigation by Mercy For Animals at Winchester Dairy in New Mexico—at the time a supplier to Leprino Foods—which exposed workers viciously punching and kicking cows, stabbing cows with screwdrivers, whipping cows with chains and metal wires, shocking cows in their genitals, and dragging sick and injured cows with tractors. Winchester Dairy temporarily shut down after the investigation.
Recognizing the importance of meaningful animal welfare policies to prevent egregious abuse in its supply chain, Leprino Foods is requiring its suppliers to abide by new animal welfare standards:
- An end to the unnecessary and mutilating practice of tail docking cows by December 31, 2016 (the most aggressive tail docking phaseout ever by a major food company)
- Pain relief during disbudding or dehorning
- “Zero tolerance” for malicious cruelty to cows and calves
- Provision of a safe, clean, and sanitary environment
- Proper veterinary care for sick and injured cows
- The establishment of an animal welfare advisory council
- Third-party auditing to ensure these standards are enforced
Nestlé and Great Lakes Cheese, two of the largest dairy companies in the world, recently announced similar animal welfare requirements after hidden-camera footage by MFA revealed horrific animal abuse in their supply chains. With these three announcements, it’s never been clearer that the days are numbered for dairy factory farms that beat and drag cows, and mutilate them without painkillers. It’s now time for Dean Foods, Land O’Lakes, and other mega dairies to stop dragging their feet and implement their own animal welfare guidelines to reduce the pain and suffering that cows endure on factory farms.
Remember, the most important action we can take to help farmed animals is to choose healthy and humane vegan foods. Visit GotMisery.com now to take our veg pledge!