In a joint announcement with the Humane Society of the U.S., food service company Sodexo announced it’s adopting new animal welfare requirements for broiler chickens and other livestock, one day after the Panera restaurant chain made a similar announcement. By 2024, Sodexo won’t be buying animals raised in gestation crates and veal crates. It also won’t buy eggs from hens raised in cages. An article on PR Newswire dot com says Sodexo will also source chickens from farms that raise birds in natural light and give them fresh hay bales, as well as adopt more humane slaughter methods. Humane Society President and CEO Wayne Pacelle says Panera and Sodexo are only the beginning. “We’re gearing up for 2017 when the fate of broiler chickens takes a turn for the better,” he said. The United States has the largest broiler chicken industry in the world, with about 19 percent of its production being exported to other countries. Those numbers come from Sodexo Vice President of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Ted Monk, who says, “Sodexo is committed to improving the treatment of broiler chickens while thoughtfully addressing the impact on the 25,000 family farms that have production contracts that provide 95 percent of the broiler chicken supply.”
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.