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Saputo implements Progressive Animal Welfare Policy across operations


June 2, 2015
By Canadian Pizza

June 2, 2015, Montreal – Dairy processor Saputo Inc. will implement an animal welfare policy and recently concluded agreements with two universities to support animal welfare education, the company said in a news release.

The announcement of the policy follows the release of a widely publicized video of animal abuse at one of the company’s milk suppliers.

The Saputo Animal Welfare Policy is based on core principles and scientific evidence, the company said. It was developed through extensive consultations with customers, dairy producers, veterinarians, governmental authorities, universities and other industry stakeholders across the value chain. The policy was created by members of Saputo’s management team and its newly appointed director of animal welfare, Dr. Warren Skippon, formerly of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association.

Elements of the policy include zero tolerance for any act of animal cruelty; a commitment to achieving the elimination of tail docking in dairy cattle; and the dedication of resources to ensuring a minimum industry standard for pain control when dehorning or disbudding cattle.

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The policy also details the company’s commitment to supporting initiatives and programs that promote communication, awareness and training opportunities for dairy production welfare issues.

Saputo will provide additional resources to two leading North American university programs that specialize in dairy animal handling and welfare. The new Saputo Dairy Care Program will be offered at the University of Guelph through the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare and the Ontario Veterinary College. This program focuses on providing practical dairy welfare education, including workshops, to veterinary students, veterinary practitioners and dairy producers.

Additionally, the company said it is contributing funding to two important initiatives at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine: the Dairyland Initiative, which provides resources, consulting services and workshops to develop animal welfare-friendly housing for dairy cattle; and the development of the LifeStep program, which will focus on low-stress cattle handling approaches, lameness prevention and end of life management.