The program has been developed under the guidance of Dr Temple Grandin, driven by science, founded in practicality, and dedicated to continuing Dr Grandin’s work in the meat industry, and her core purpose of continuing to improve animal welfare.
Through the system, suppliers volunteer to participate in improving the conditions under which cattle are managed throughout their life.
This system focuses on objective scoring at meat harvesting facilities for indicators of responsible care and management of animals intended for human consumption. Participants in this program have committed themselves to developing a management system that uses routine monitoring to enhance the lives of the animals on which we depend. This is achieved by assessing the condition of animals received at the meat processing facility. Several of the measures to be monitored at the plant are lameness, cleanliness, injuries, and internal health. While this program provides a means for greatly improving animal welfare through the reduction of serious welfare issues, it cannot measure cattle handling or painful procedures that occur prior to arrival at the meat processing plant.
Texas-based Nolan Ryan Beef is the first beef company to utilise the FSNS C&A Temple Grandin Responsible Cattle Care Audit to assess animal conditions prior to harvest. This audit occurs in addition to annual third-party animal welfare audits conducted at its partner facility, which monitors humane handling at the meat processing facility. During this audit, animals are inspected upon arrival the plant for lameness, health condition, injuries, cleanliness, and signs of overall level of care from their previous point of ownership. Only suppliers providing proper animal care will be included in Nolan Ryan Beef.
Nolan Ryan, Texas rancher and majority owner of Nolan Ryan Beef, said: “As a lifetime cattle rancher who has a heart and passion for animals, I’m honoured to partner with FSNS C&A and Dr Grandin in the utilisation of this program. We feel this is an essential step in ensuring the continuous improvement of animal welfare throughout the supply chain.”
Perry Coughlin, president and CEO of Nolan Ryan Beef, added: “We understand the proper care and handling of livestock is an ethical responsibility for everyone involved in this industry. Not only does it make good business sense, but it aligns with our mission and core values.”