In 2015, an undercover video surfaced exposing Pel-Freez employees’ poor treatment of animals at our plant. We were shocked. We had lost focus on our company’s core values. There was a need for change. This site outlines our plan of action to address animal welfare and ensure it never becomes an issue again.
At Pel-Freez, our Animal Welfare Policy focuses on the internationally recognized “Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare.”
Our dedication to the improvement of animal welfare is not limited to regulations. We take action ourselves to ensure the best practices. Although rabbit production does not currently fall into USDA production guidelines, we incur the costs of voluntary USDA inspections.
We take initiatives to go above and beyond our own high level of self-imposed guidelines.
We work collaboratively with the rabbit industry and government agencies to improve animal welfare in this country and advance standardized approaches for all.
We monitor and review science-based research on animal welfare practices.
We ensure all of our business partners and suppliers meet or exceed government regulations, standards and industry guidelines for animal welfare.
We conduct yearly reviews of our animal welfare policy.
All animals are stunned prior to processing, rendering them paralyzed and unable to feel pain during processing. This method is similar to standards set by poultry, beef and pork producers.
A quality assurance and verification process is used during the stunning phase, and all data is recorded and reviewed daily.
A surveillance audio/video unit is utilized in the production and live-room areas of the processing plant. The USDA on-site inspector, plant supervisor and division manager all have access to, and regularly review, the surveillance feed.
Pel-Freez is the nation’s largest producer of rabbit for consumption and biological sciences.
Pel-Freez is a company of dedicated individuals providing a quality product while also being committed to the humane and conscientious treatment and processing of animals. Animal welfare is of utmost importance throughout the supply chain.
We strive to operate with integrity in all that we do. We adhere to, and often exceed, USDA guidelines in all of our practices. We invest in our people, product and processes in order to continually improve.
We operate under the rule of “do the right thing, no matter what.” It’s how we do business every day at Pel-Freez. It’s what we expect of every employee.
While the company is not directly involved in the rearing and growing of the rabbits, we share a social responsibility for the animals in our supply chain. Pel-Freez will continue to work with its independent growers to encourage compliance with the highest standards of animal care. Because, at Pel-Freez, we view animal welfare as a key component to a sustainable supply chain.
Not only do our consumers demand a better tasting, better quality, environmentally friendly animal product, they continue to demand a product raised under conditions that respect the rabbit’s health and welfare. This is why growers associated with Pel-Freez must meet strict guidelines regarding housing and feeding of animals.
At Pel-Freez, we train our employees on proper processes and procedures in accordance with animal welfare. Each employee is regularly reviewed to ensure their views on animal welfare are aligned with the company.