Animal welfare

Blue cloudy sky with a field of black and brown cows with tags.

Loblaw is one of Canada’s largest buyers and sellers of meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products. Our customers look to us to ensure the food they purchase is safe, high quality, responsibly sourced and produced in a humane way.

The welfare of animals raised for food is important to us and our customers. As Loblaw is not directly involved in raising or processing animals, we look to our suppliers to ensure that the animals they raise are treated in accordance with government and industry-accepted guidelines for humane treatment.

The welfare of animals raised for food is important to us and our customers.

To this end, Loblaw recognizes the internationally accepted “Five Freedoms” as applied to animals:

  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor

  2. Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area

  3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment

  4. Freedom to express normal behavior by providing sufficient space, proper facilities, and company of the animal's own kind

  5. Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering

Our commitments

Continuous Improvement

  • Fund relevant animal welfare research projects as advised by our animal welfare scientific advisor

  • While recognizing that introducing new animal welfare technology is a complex process that often requires coordination among many players, we will work with the industry to help facilitate continuous improvement rather than insisting on sudden changes that can potentially cause unintended consequences

  • Stay attuned to new technologies developed to advance animal welfare

Stakeholder Engagement

  • Engage with and support the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) in developing national Codes for farm animal care and welfare, and evolving Animal Care Assessment Programs to ensure that Codes are followed

  • Encourage producers in adopting best practices for animal treatment based on the best science available. This includes working with industry experts and our scientific advisor

  • Renew and promote opportunities to continue to collaborate on commitments with the food retailer community through our trade association, The Retail Council of Canada, when feasible and practical

  • Maintain our status as associate members of the NFACC

Reporting

  • Report on the progress of our animal welfare initiatives in our annual Corporate Social Responsibility reports

We remain committed to tackling issues associated with animal welfare and recognize that there is more to do. That is why we continue to collaborate with industry partners and experts to set targets and action plans.

We believe in a science-based approach. To that end, we have engaged a scientific advisor, Dr. David Fraser, a leading animal welfare scientist from the University of British Columbia, to provide expert opinion and guidance on how to align our commitments with animal welfare standards and best practices. Loblaw is also an associate member of the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) since 2011 - a multi-stakeholder forum and national leader in Canada on farm animal care and welfare. 

This public commitment serves to guide and align our efforts with respect to farm animal health and welfare in our Canadian supply chain.

Red house on a farm with animals in the background.

Have responsibility questions?

Contact us

csr@loblaw.ca

As a part of our culture of integrity, it is important that non-compliant and unethical matters are reported.

Call the Integrity Action Line: 1-800-525-7868 (available in English, French, Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, Spanish and Korean languages); or visit www.integrityactionline.com (available in English, French and Spanish languages).

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