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Species Welfare Statements

NB. The statements in bold are mandatory, all other elements are best practice policies

Specie Welfare Standards

A list of the welfare standards required for each species are outlined in the following section.

These include specific welfare statements relating to animals used in the production of fresh and frozen meat and poultry, as well as shell-on eggs and liquid milk, for use across the Mitchells & Butlers business, regardless of country of origin. These welfare statements must be adhered to at all times and documentary evidence provided to support them.

Working closely with our suppliers, we aim to ensure complete compliance to these standards and are working towards full implementation on all meat and poultry purchased, from all countries of origin.

We are currently in the process of setting performance targets in the form of welfare outcomes by specie, that will enable us to ensure all meat and poultry produced for Mitchells & Butlers meets the optimal welfare standards required and will also allow us to measure our progress in addressing significant welfare matters such as confinement, routine mutilations, live transportation times, pre-slaughter stunning and antibiotic usage.

The following welfare statements include the minimum standards required for livestock reared to produce meat and poultry products supplied to Mitchells and Butlers (as highlighted in bold text), along with additional recommendations.

Welfare Statements Relating to the Production of Chickens for Meat

  • All of our chickens have constant access to food and fresh water, with a diet to maintain full health and vigour
  • All of our chickens are reared in barns, with the freedom to flap their wings and preen unhindered.
  • Mitchells & Butlers never use cages for the production of chickens used within our business
  • Where possible, the barns in which our chickens are housed are enriched with bales and pecking points, to encourage them to peck, perch and move around freely
  • All our chickens are reared in barns, which are lit appropriately to allow the birds to display natural behaviours around the clock
  • We encourage our farmers to install windows within the barns providing chickens with access to natural daylight
  • Our chicken farmers are trained to rapidly recognise any signs of illness and working in conjunction with a qualified veterinary surgeon, administer appropriate medication to treat illnesses.
  • Our chicken are not subjected to long live journeys and these never exceed 12 hours
    On average, the time from loading to processing does not exceed 8 hours
  • Where possible, to reduce stress and protect biosecurity, we encourage the supply of chickens from farms where only one depletion takes place
  • Our chickens are not subjected to routine surgical interventions.
  • Where any procedures are required to assist with the health of an animal, they should be undertaken by a qualified veterinary surgeon, using pain relief and anaesthetic, as appropriate
  • Every chicken produced for Mitchells & Butlers can be traced back to the farms where they were reared

Welfare Statements Relating to the Production of Turkeys

  • All of our turkeys have constant access to food and fresh water, with a diet to maintain full health and vigour
  • All of our turkeys are reared in barns, with the freedom to flap their wings and preen unhindered.
  • Where possible, the barns in which our turkeys are housed are enriched with bales and pecking points, to encourage birds to peck, perch and move around freely
  • All our turkeys are reared in barns, which are lit appropriately to allow the birds to display natural behaviours around the clock
  • Our turkey farmers are trained to rapidly diagnose any signs of illness and working in conjunction with a qualified veterinary surgeon, administer appropriate medication to treat illnesses.
  • Our turkeys are not subjected to long live journeys and these never exceed 12 hours
    On average, the time from leaving the farm to processing does not exceed 9 hours
  • Our turkeys are not subjected to routine surgical interventions.
    Infra-red beak treatments are allowed on day old chicks, to prevent unnecessary distress to young stock caused through pecking and cannibalisation.
  • Where any procedures are required to assist with the health of the animal, they should be undertaken by a qualified veterinary surgeon, using pain relief and anaesthetic as appropriate
  • Every turkey produced for Mitchells & Butlers can be traced back to the farms where they were reared

Welfare Statements Relating to the Production of Farmed Ducks

  • All of our ducks are provided with a constant supply of natural, high quality balanced feed. They have ready access to water, allowing them to display natural behaviours, including preening and clearing their bills
  • All of our ducks are housed in large, airy, well-lit barns, where the floors are covered daily with clean dry straw.
  • Mitchells & Butlers never use cages in the production of farmed ducks used within our business
  • Our ducks are looked after by competent people with the necessary experience and/or training for the work they do.
  • By using good farm management practices, our ducks grow strong and healthy, with minimal need for any use of antibiotics or other medications
  • Our ducks are not subjected to long live journeys and from loading to unloading, these never exceed 12 hours
    On average, the time from leaving the farm to processing does not exceed 4 hours
  • Our British ducks are not subjected to any routine surgical interventions.
  • Every duck produced for Mitchells & Butlers can be traced back to the parent stock from where they were born

Welfare Statements Relating to Laying Hens

  • It is Mitchells & Butlers policy that all products that contain shell egg, egg products and products with egg as a main ingredient (such as Mayonnaise, Hollandaise Sauce, Quiches, Cheesecake, Scrambled egg, etc) shall be sourced from hens that have been reared in accordance to the requirements of Directive 1999/74/EC Welfare of Laying Hens for the protection of laying hens.
  • As such all shell on eggs, egg products and products with egg as a main ingredient must be sourced, as a minimum requirement, from laying hens kept in enriched cages, where laying hens have at least 750 cm2 of cage area per hen, of which 600cm2 is useable.
  • All hens must be provided with a nesting area and at least 15cm of perch per hen, with litter provided and unrestricted access to a feed trough.
  • The use of non-enriched (barren) cages in the production of shell on eggs, egg products and products with egg as a main ingredient is prohibited.
  • All egg production units must be registered with the relevant local authorities and have a distinguishing number which can be used to trace eggs back to their farm of origin. Mitchells & Butlers are working with suppliers to progress towards achieving a Sourcing Policy for Laying Hens whereby all products containing eggs and egg derivatives are sourced from hens that have not been kept in cages. This would require the procurement of egg derivatives such as dried egg white, powdered egg, dehydrated egg, egg solids and albumen etc. to come from hens kept in barns or free range production systems.

Shell-on Eggs

  • All suppliers of shell-on eggs to Mitchells & Butlers must be produced from laying hens kept in a free-range production system.
  • As such all shell on eggs must be sourced from laying hens that have continuous daytime access to runs, and when housed contain no more than 9 hens per m2
  • All hens must be provided with at least one nest per 7 hens area and at least 15cm of perch space per hen, with 250cm2 of litter provided per hen, a suitable substrate for duct bathing, as well as unrestricted access to a feed trough.
  • For British supply, all shell-on eggs must be compliant with the Lion Code of Practice for free range egg production. In accordance with the Lion Quality Code of Practice for free range egg production, suppliers must meet the same standards as required for Lion Quality barn hens as well as the additional standards that apply for free range laying hens; allowing for additional ranging space, lower stocking densities in multi-tier systems, strategies to minimize feather-pecking and the same maximum flock sizes as are set out under the RSPCA's welfare standards (applied through Freedom Food) for non-cage production.
    These additional welfare standards for free range status stipulate that:
  • Hens must be provided with outdoor shading in the absence of a veranda
  • One pop-hole per 600 birds must be open for 8 hours daily to allow access to the outside
  • The maximum flock size of 16,000 birds must apply, divided into colonies of 4,000 where flock size is over 6,000 birds in total
  • The maximum stocking density of 2,000 birds per hectare must apply
  • Using the Poultry "Passport" system, all hens, eggs and feed must be fully traceable, as such every laying hen producing shell on eggs for Mitchells & Butlers can be traced back to the farms where they were reared

Welfare Statements Relating to the Production of Beef Cattle

  • All our cattle have constant access to food and fresh water, with a diet to maintain full health and vigour, throughout their life.
  • All our cattle are proactively managed by competent people, to ensure they remain healthy, with good animal welfare promoted and monitored at all times
  • Our beef farmers are trained to rapidly diagnose and treat any illness, using only the most appropriate medication. This is administered by trained competent persons and monitored by veterinary surgeons
  • Our cattle are not subjected to long live journeys and these never exceed 12 hours
  • Where possible and with particular regards to British beef supplies, live journeys do not exceed 8 hours.
  • When loading cattle and unloading cattle, facilities are in place to minimise stress and the risk of injury to the livestock
  • Where necessary husbandry procedures are required on farm, they are undertaken by trained stockmen, with maximum consideration given to the welfare of the animal at all times
  • When housed, all our cattle are provided with safe and suitable bedding to lie on, in suitably lit and ventilated barns and cattle sheds.
  • The housing provided is of sufficient size to allow our cattle to rest comfortably and move without difficulty, whilst keeping them together in their appropriate peer groups. The housing is also maintained in a manner that ensures our cattle are able to stay clean.
  • Where possible, cattle kept outside have access to shelter and well drained lying areas, to allow them to rest comfortably and take shelter from adverse weather conditions
  • Mitchells & Butlers encourage supply from production systems, where calves are procured direct from farms and systems are in place to make sure that new born calves receive sufficient colostrum as soon as possible after birth, to support their immune system
  • All beef from cattle produced for M&B can be traced back to the farms where they were finished (reared)
  • Where possible M&B encourage suppliers to procure beef from cattle reared on farms that comply with recognised animal welfare standards, as accredited and monitored by leading welfare organisations. Cattle should have resided on an approved assured farm for at least the last 70 to 90 days of its life.

Welfare Statements Relating to the Production of Dairy Cattle (for the production of liquid milk)

  • All our dairy cattle have constant access to food and fresh water, with a diet to maintain full health and vigour, throughout their life.
  • All our dairy cattle are proactively managed by competent people, to ensure they remain healthy, with good animal welfare promoted and monitored at all times
  • Our dairy farmers are trained to rapidly diagnose and treat any illness, using only the most appropriate medication. This is administered by trained competent persons and monitored by veterinary surgeons
  • Our dairy cattle are not subjected to long live journeys and these never exceed 12 hours
  • Where possible and with particular regards to British milk supplies, live journeys do not exceed 8 hours.
  • When loading cattle and unloading cattle, facilities are in place to minimise stress and the risk of injury to the livestock
  • Where necessary husbandry procedures are required on farm, they are undertaken by trained stockmen, with maximum consideration given to the welfare of the animal at all times
  • When housed, all our dairy cattle are provided with safe and suitable bedding to lie on, in suitably lit and ventilated barns and cattle sheds.
  • The housing provided is of sufficient size to allow our dairy cattle to rest comfortably and move without difficulty, whilst keeping them together in their appropriate peer groups. The housing is also maintained in a manner that ensures our dairy cattle are able to stay clean.
  • All our dairy cattle have appropriate facilities to give birth
  • Where our dairy cattle are kept outside, they have access to shelter and well drained lying areas, to allow them to rest comfortably and take shelter from adverse weather conditions
  • M&B encourage supply from production systems, where calves are procured direct from farms and systems are in place to make sure that new born calves receive sufficient colostrum as soon as possible after birth, to support their immune system
  • All milk from dairy cattle produced for M&B can be traced back to the farms where it was produced
  • Where possible M&B encourage suppliers to procure milk from cattle reared on farms that comply with recognised animal welfare standards, as accredited and monitored by leading welfare organisations. Dairy cattle should have resided on an approved assured farm for at least the last 70 to 90 days of its life.

Welfare Statements Relating to the Production of Lamb

  • All our sheep have constant access to food and fresh water, with a diet to maintain full health and vigour, throughout their life.
  • All our sheep are proactively managed by competent people, to ensure they remain healthy, with good animal welfare promoted and monitored at all times
  • Our sheep farmers are trained to rapidly diagnose and treat any illness, using only the most appropriate medication. This is administered by trained competent persons and monitored by veterinary surgeons
  • Our sheep not subjected to long live journeys, which never exceed 12 hours
  • Where possible live journeys do not exceed 8 hours
  • When loading cattle and unloading sheep, facilities are in place to minimise stress and the risk of injury to the livestock
  • Where necessary husbandry procedures are required on farm, they are undertaken by trained stockmen, with maximum consideration given to the welfare of the animal at all times
  • When housed, all our sheep are provided with safe and suitable bedding to lie on, in suitably lit and ventilated barns and sheds.
  • The housing provided is of sufficient size to allow our sheep to rest comfortably and move without difficulty, whilst keeping them together in their appropriate peer groups. The housing is also maintained in a manner that ensures our sheep are able to stay clean.
  • Where possible, when outside, our sheep have access to shelter and well drained lying areas, to allow them to rest comfortably and take shelter from adverse weather conditions
  • All lamb produced for M&B is from sheep that can be traced back to the farms where they were finished (reared)
  • Where possible M&B encourage suppliers to procure lamb from sheep reared on farms that comply with recognised animal welfare standards, as accredited and monitored by leading welfare organisations. Sheep should have resided on an approved assured farm for at least the last 70 to 90 days of its life.

Welfare Statements Relating to the Production of Pork

At present these welfare statements do not include animals produced to supply pork used in the production of Sausages, Continental, or Delicatessen raw and cooked pork products e.g. Ham, Prosciutto, Chorizo

  • All our pigs have constant access to food and fresh water, with a suitable diet to maintain full health and vigour, throughout their life.
  • All our pigs are proactively managed by competent people, to ensure they remain healthy, with good animal welfare promoted and monitored at all times
  • Our pig farmers are trained to rapidly diagnose and treat any illness, using only the most appropriate medication. This is administered by trained competent persons and monitored by veterinary surgeons
  • Our pigs not subjected to long live journeys and these never exceed 12 hours
  • Where possible live journeys do not exceed 8 hours
  • When loading and unloading our pigs, facilities are in place to minimise stress and the risk of injury to the livestock
  • Our pigs are not subject to any routine procedures, such as tail docking and teeth reduction
  • Where any necessary husbandry procedures are required on farm, and after seeking veterinary advice, they are undertaken by trained stockmen, with maximum consideration given to the welfare of the animal at all times
  • All of our pigs are provided with safe and suitable bedding to lie on, in suitably lit and ventilated barns and sheds.
  • The housing provided is of sufficient size to allow our pigs to rest comfortably and move without difficulty, whilst keeping them together in their appropriate peer groups. The housing is also maintained in a manner that ensures our pigs are able to stay clean.
  • M&B encourage farmers to provide suitable facilities for our sows to give birth, providing sufficient space to allow them to lie down and stand up unhindered, but without excessive free movement which could endanger the welfare of their piglets.
  • Where possible, our piglets remain with their mother for a minimum of 28 days, unless the health of the sow or piglet is likely to be compromised.
  • Where our pigs are reared outside, they have access to appropriate accommodation, with bedding material provided to keep them warm and comfortable. There are no more than 30 sows per hectare of land
  • All pork produced for M&B is from pigs that can be traced back to the farms where they were finished (reared)
  • Where possible M&B encourage suppliers to procure pork from pigs reared on farms that comply with recognised animal welfare standards, as accredited and monitored by leading welfare organisations. Pigs should have resided on an approved assured farm for at least the last 90 days of its life.

Welfare Statements relating to the Production of Farmed Fish and Seafood

M&B recognise the importance of sourcing fish and seafood from sustainable supplies, along with the importance of working to the highest standards of welfare possible.

We are currently working with our supply base to determine and implement optimal welfare standards for fish and seafood across all our brands, which forms part of our Sourcing Policy. This includes finfish, farmed and wild caught fish and crustaceans.

The majority of our suppliers already operate to standards recognised by a number of accredited bodies, including (for farmed fish) the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and Global GAP, and (in the case of wild fish) the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

It is our intention to review these standards, alongside relevant legislation, and agree an appropriate list of welfare statements for farmed fish that address the key concerns of our Guests and other stakeholders. These will include statements regarding pre-slaughter stunning methods, welfare during grading and transportation, stocking density and for wild caught fish, process of capture and reducing bycatch.

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