Animal welfare continues to be a priority at Pipestone System sow farms. In the past year and a half since we began our Animal Care Program, major packers like Tyson, Hormel, and Swift have rolled out their own programs with specific welfare requirements. These programs come in response to consumers requesting a better understanding of how food animals are being cared for. We view this as an opportunity for our industry to highlight its concern for animal well-being.
As each packer introduced its own program, Pipestone System identified any requirements that we were not already in compliance and made changes. We found we were in compliance with 99% of the requirements. Most areas where we needed to update had to do with documentation, like a weekly checklist that farms sign to verify they were in compliance. If you would like to learn more about the animal welfare programs introduced by some of the packers in the United States, go to:
Approximately two years ago, Pipestone System began conducting third-party animal welfare audits of its own accord. We voluntarily began the third-party audits and have continued them for a second year. These audits were not required by the industry or by the consumers, however our goal was to identify areas we could improve and strive for continuous improvement in all areas of animal care. I am happy to announce that after auditing several Pipestone System farms for a second year, we have improved our scores. Again, the main area needing improvement was documentation.
Starting this summer, Pipestone System will offer training in animal care and animal handling through its new online teaching tool: http://mypipestone.com. The advantage of using a Web-based teaching tool to educate our farm employees is that it will provide a consistent and on-demand training course that can be offered simultaneously over a large geographic area. This high-tech educational solution should assure both packer and consumer that all Pipestone
System employees have been trained in animal welfare to the highest standards.