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General Policies Applicable to All Species

There are several welfare standards that apply to all proteins, including beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, duck and fish.

These are as follows;

Genetically Modified and Cloned Animals

  • In accordance with Mitchells & Butlers Technical Policy on Genetically Modified Organisms, it is Mitchells & Butlers policy not to purchase any red meat, poultry or fish products that contain Genetically Modified Organisms, or to procure meat, poultry, or fish from genetically modified animals
  • M&B prohibit the use of genetically engineered or cloned animals in the supply of products to our business and do not sell products made from cloned animals

Growth Promoters

  • The use of growth promoters is not permitted in the production of livestock used to produce meat and poultry for M&B

Slaughter Policy

Mitchells & Butlers consider the welfare of livestock throughout the whole process of slaughter, from arrival at the abattoir and unloading, the movement of the animal through lairage and handling, through to the application of slaughter method. Mitchells & Butlers recognise a slaughter method is only humane if the animal dies without pain or distress and therefore require all animals in our supply chain, regardless of origin, to be effectively stunned prior to slaughter.

  • Abattoirs managed / used by suppliers to Mitchells & Butlers, are required to comply with Regulation (EC) 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing and any provisions made under this Regulation, as apply within each European Union country
  • Mitchells & Butlers require slaughterhouses to effectively manage and monitor their systems including following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to ensure a standardised slaughter process and detailed contingency plans for breakdowns on the line and other emergencies.
  • Stunning equipment should be maintained to a high standard and equipment tested regularly to ensure effective working order. In the instance of equipment failing there must be back-up stunning equipment immediately accessible at the point of stunning and slaughter.
  • All staff involved in the slaughter process should have effective and necessary training for them to undertake their role. Ideally this should include a designated member of staff responsible for animal welfare to be in the abattoir, whose role is to monitor operations, ensure SOPs are followed and guarantee remedial action is taken in the instance of non-compliance.
  • Mitchells & Butlers are working with their suppliers to ensure supplying abattoirs further improve the effective measurement and proactive management of welfare outcomes at slaughter.

With regards to Finfish, the majority of farmed finfish supplied to Mitchells & Butlers are stunned prior to slaughter. This currently includes supplies of Salmon, Seabream, Seabass, Halibut, Trout, Turbot, Gilt Head Bream and Meagre.

However by working closely with our suppliers, we aim to work towards increasing the number of farmed finfish stunned prior to slaughter, from all countries of origin. We are also assessing current stunning procedures in place for wild caught fish and crustaceans.

Transport Policy

Mitchells & Butlers are committed to ensuring the welfare of animals during transportation, at all times. By working with our suppliers, Mitchells & Butlers wish to ensure:

  • Animals deemed too sick or injured to travel are culled by qualified personnel, prior to leaving farm
  • Drivers must be adequately trained
  • All vehicles used to transport animals between farms and/or from farm to slaughter are fit for purpose and well maintained, including the use of non-slip floors and well maintained loading ramps
  • During loading, unloading and handling, sympathetic handling will be adopted at all times. There will be no use of electric goads to move animals
  • Vehicles will not be overcrowded and animals will be transported in conditions guaranteed not to cause injury or unnecessary suffering
  • The journey time for all animals being transported will not exceed 12 hours from loading at farm to unloading at processing plant. Specie specific journey times are as follows;
    • Broiler chickens – on average, the time from loading to processing will not exceed 8 hours.
    • Turkey – on average the time from loading to processing will not exceed 9 hours.
    • Ducks – on average the time from loading to processing will not exceed 4 hours.
    • Beef Cattle – all our cattle are not subjected to long live journeys and these never exceed 12 hours. For British beef supplies, on average the time from loading to processing will not exceed 8 hours.
    • Dairy Cattle – all our cattle are not subjected to long live journeys and these never exceed 12 hours.
    • Lamb – all live journeys for British lambs do not exceed 8 hours
    • Pigs – on average the time from loading to processing will not exceed 8 hours.

Antibiotic Usage

Mitchells & Butlers recognise that farmers have a responsibility for the health and welfare of the animals on their farm. This is a joint responsibility with their veterinary surgeon, to ensure the correct and appropriate use of antimicrobials, including antibiotics, to maintain animal health.

We also recognise that farmers and stock-keepers can play a major role in ensuring the responsible use of antibiotics and other antimicrobials on farms, by following appropriate guidelines, such as those included in most farm assurance schemes and also by following guidelines set out by the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture alliance (RUMA). In alignment with the principles set out by RUMA, Mitchells & Butlers require supplying farmers and producers to only administer antibiotics under professional veterinary supervision and guidance.

Furthermore, Mitchells & Butlers acknowledge the importance of maintaining the integrity of all classes of antibiotics to support human and animal health. We are working with our supply base to ensure that the classes of antibiotics deemed by the World Health Organization to be most critically important to human health, are only used therapeutically, and only where this is the sole option to prevent a severe welfare crisis, as assessed and administered by a veterinary surgeon. This includes the use of Fluoroquinolones, Glycopeptides, 3rd and 4th generation Cephalosporins and long acting Macrolides.

Mitchells & Butlers do not support the routine prophylactic use of antibiotics and we are working with our suppliers to encourage farmers to remove this practice, encouraging the adoption of enhanced levels of biosecurity and animal husbandry to reduce the risk of disease challenge.

Further information on the responsible use of medicines in agriculture can be found here http://www.ruma.org.uk/

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