2019 Key Facts and Figures

97.7% - 100%

scores achieved by Pilgrim’s U.S. on external animal welfare audits


of external animal welfare audits passed by Pilgrim’s U.S., Mexico and Europe


of team members who have contact with live animals have been trained according to our animal welfare program

Ensuring the well-being of animals under our care is an uncompromising commitment at Pilgrim’s. We continually strive to improve our welfare efforts through the use of new technologies and the implementation of standards that meet and exceed regulatory requirements and industry guidelines.

Pilgrim’s has established and implemented animal welfare policies and programs in all of our business units to further promote the humane treatment of animals. Our animal welfare programs lay out the appropriate practices, controls, training and documentation, and are motivated by the Five Freedoms:

  1. Freedom to express natural behavior
  2. Freedom from injury and disease
  3. Freedom from discomfort
  4. Freedom from thirst and hunger
  5. Freedom from fear and distress

To continually improve the care and well-being of our animals, we have set aggressive 2020 animal welfare goals according to our Pilgrim’s Animal Health and Welfare Scorecard as part of our Sustainable Management System. To date, these goals were only set by our U.S. business; however, we are currently working to expand this approach across our global operations.

Our animal health and welfare scorecard was developed by our Pilgrim’s animal welfare team and uses a combination of indicators selected for their importance to the health and welfare of our chickens. The indicators are weighted on a 100-point scale across eight main areas of importance including compliance, internal and third-party annual audits, losses, priority indicators, investment, transportation, management and health.


Animal Welfare Goals

Achieve a 90% or better on our Animal Health and Welfare Scorecard for all processing plants.

Achieve a 95% or better on our Animal Health and Welfare Scorecard for our Live Operations.

We are on track to achieve these goals.


*Goals set for our U.S. facilities

Our Management Approach

At Pilgrim’s, animal welfare auditing responsibilities in our production facilities are reported through the Food Safety and Quality Assurance (FSQA) Team. Nearly all Pilgrim’s production facilities have a full-time FSQA Manager or Animal Welfare Officer (AWO) who is responsible for overseeing animal welfare at the production facility including facility assessment, training programs and ongoing monitoring. The FSQA Manager and FSQA team across our U.S. and Tulip business units reports to the FSQA Director for their line of the business, and in our Mexico and Moy Park business units, the FSQA Manager reports to the production facility manager. The FSQA managers also receive support from the Corporate Head of Animal Welfare Auditing.

Pilgrim’s business units have a Corporate Head of Animal Welfare Auditing who reports to the Head of FSQA (also referred to in some businesses as the Heads of Technical Services and Quality Assurance) or the Vice President of Operations, who reports directly to the president of the business unit. The Corporate Head of Animal Welfare Auditing oversees the animal welfare performance of multiple facilities and provides individual facility support by sharing best management practices and offers assistance to address specific issues when needed.

Animal welfare within Tulip’s higher welfare supply chain is overseen by the Pig Production Director who reports to the Agriculture Director with ultimate oversight from the executive vice president of the business unit. Animal welfare of the hogs procured by Tulip from independent pig suppliers is overseen by the Pig Supply Chain Director who reports to the Agriculture Director.

Each production facility has team members responsible for livestock and poultry handling, processing, quality assurance, operations, procurement and human resources, who make sure that the policies and procedures required by the animal welfare program, including annual training of all team members, are being correctly implemented and followed.

Animal welfare is supported further by the Chief Animal Welfare Officer, who is also the head veterinarian, and reports to the head of live operations with ultimate oversight from the president of the business unit. In the U.S., our Chief Animal Welfare Officer is Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization (PAACO) certified. At Pilgrim’s Moy Park, our Chief Animal Welfare Officer is certified through an industry-recognized animal welfare training body, Animal Welfare Training Ltd. In addition, all personnel handling chickens must have a Certificate of Competency (COC), which is an assessed qualification issued by the regional regulatory authorities: Food Standards Agency (FSA) in Great Britain or the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) in Northern Ireland. Tulip animal welfare officers are trained to Bristol University or Livestockwise accreditation standards. Finally, the Pilgrim’s Animal Welfare Program and Guidelines are reviewed and modified by the Animal Welfare Committee which is led by the Chief Animal Welfare Officer.

The welfare of livestock and poultry in our Pilgrim’s production facilities is regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulations, Buenas Prácticas Pecuarias en Producción de Pollo de Engorda de SADER y SENASICA and the Council Regulation N˚1099/2009, dependent on region.

We have a zero-tolerance policy for abuse of any kind, and all team members are required to report any violations, either anonymously through our Ethics Line or directly to management. In the unusual event that a standard operating procedure, guideline or regulation is violated, corrective action is taken immediately. If team members or family farm and ranch partners violate our Animal Welfare Policy and associated procedures, they are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, termination of a contract and/or reporting to the government authority responsible for overseeing animal welfare.


All new Pilgrim’s team members receive department-specific animal welfare training during orientation, and all team members who handle livestock or poultry must attend annual refresher trainings. Our quality assurance and human resources managers make sure all training requirements are completed as scheduled, documented and available for review.


All of our facilities are audited regularly to guarantee compliance with our animal welfare programs.

In the U.S., third-party animal welfare audits are conducted on a minimum of an annual basis at production facilities by PAACO-certified auditors. In addition, corporate internal animal welfare audits are conducted on a minimum of an annual basis at production facilities by PAACO-certified internal auditors. Both Pilgrim’s quality assurance personnel and USDA inspectors monitor animal welfare practices at our production facilities daily to ensure that chickens are handled and slaughtered as per both the company’s and National Chicken Council (NCC) guidelines.

In Mexico, our animal welfare programs are aligned with Good Livestock Practices (Buenas Prácticas Pecuarias en Producción de Pollo de Engorda) by SADER y SENASICA. Additionally, a subset of key customers audit our animal welfare program annually along with internal quarterly audits that are completed in processing facilities.

In Europe, all Pilgrim’s Moy Park poultry farms are Red Tractor approved and meet or exceed Red Tractor or equivalent welfare standards. Annually, an external auditor audits each farm to Red Tractor standards, which results in Assured Chicken Production (ACP) certification. Pilgrim’s Tulip own higher welfare supply chain raises hogs at a minimum to the Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) higher welfare standards. Our European abattoirs are audited according to the Council Regulation N˚1099/2009 standards on animal welfare. Animal welfare audit results and key performance indicators are integrated into the Pilgrim’s quality assurance data-sharing platform. Data is collected and entered in real time, enhancing our ability to share best management practices across the company and improve animal welfare performance.

We also prioritize animal welfare standards within our supply chain. At Pilgrim’s, farms are visited and assessed weekly according to our Animal Welfare Program. In the U.S., a subset of farms are audited by a PAACO-certified auditor according to NCC guidelines. A majority of our Mexico complexes are compliant with the Federally Inspected Type (TIF), a voluntary food-quality certification of the Mexican government. In Europe, poultry farms are Red Tractor approved and meet or exceed Red Tractor or equivalent welfare standards. Annually, an external auditor audits each farm to Red Tractor standards, which results in ACP Certification. All farms which supply Tulip are assured to either Red Tractor or Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) standards, with some also assured to RSPCA and Organic Farmers and Growers (OFG) standards.

Our 2019 Stories

Learn more about how our facilities and team members are helping us achieve our animal welfare goals.

Founding Member of IPWA


In 2019, the US-Roundtable for Sustainable Poultry & Eggs (US-RSPE) and the International Poultry Welfare Alliance (IPWA) completed their Founding Membership Drive. Pilgrim’s was one of thirty-four organizations from across the supply chain to join as founding members. Other members include American Humane, Australian Eggs, Aviagen, BASF, Boehringer Ingelheim, Butterball LLC, Cal-Maine Foods, Cargill, Cobb-Vantress,…

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Increased GLP Certification

Pilgrim's Mexico

In 2018, the Pilgrim’s Mexico team set out to have all of its owned and supplying broiler farms attain Good Livestock Practices (GLP) program certification, an official recognition granted by the Mexican federal government to all units of poultry production whose practices and operating procedures meet or exceed the requirements of Federal Animal Health Law…

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Improving BoviWell

Pilgrim's Moy Park

In 2013, Pilgrim’s Moy Park Beef Orléans team partnered with several consultations with scientific and technical experts, institutions, NGOs and trials on farms to develop a cattle welfare evaluation tool called BoviWell. In 2019, the team demonstrated that BoviWell has progressed from an “office tool” to a “field tool” recognized by users as a true…

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