Animal rights advocacy group pressures Aldi over welfare transparency
An animal rights group has put pressure on Aldi Australia asking the supermarket to open up about its animal welfare polices to the same degree as its competitors.
Non-for-profit, World Animal Protection, is asking Aldi to “match its competitors and introduce a comprehensive animal welfare policy for its home brand products”.
World Animal Protection says while other major Australian supermarkets provide customers with extensive information on their animal welfare policies with targets and timetables included, Aldi only has a single page on animal welfare.
The page specifies fresh meat must meet Aldi’s standards but the standards are not specified says World Animal Protection.
The page also says Aldi is a member of a certification scheme that sets standards for humane transport and slaughter, but according to World Animal Protection, the page does not make it clear animal welfare on farms is not covered.
Ben Pearson, Senior Campaign Manager at World Animal Protection, said Aldi’s customers have the right to know how the animals in Aldi’s home brand products were treated.
“In recent years, the treatment of animals has increasingly attracted local and international attention, reflecting a shift in consumers’ expectations of acceptable standards for farm animal welfare,” Pearson said.
“On behalf of Australians who expect better and Australian farm animals that deserve better, World Animal Protection is calling on Aldi to show leadership on farm animal welfare.”
World Animal Protection has started an online petition asking Aldi Australia to become more transparent about its animal welfare standards.
The petition specifies that at a minimum, World Animal Protection wants Aldi Australia to publicly guarantee its pork products do not confine mother pigs to cages during pregnancy.
In response to the World Animal Protection’s criticisms, Aldi Australia told Australian Food News it is committed to animal welfare.
“As part of our commitment, suppliers of Aldi branded fresh mean are required to be audited against Aldi’s standards, which are based on continuous improvement,” an Aldi spokesperson said.
“In addition to the independent audits conducted by Aldi, we are a signatory to the Australian Livestock Processing Industry Animal Welfare System (AAWCS) for our fresh beef, lamb and pork.
“Fresh beef, lamb and pork products are only sourced from suppliers who can demonstrate the superior animal welfare practices that are required to be certified under AAWCS.”
Aldi outlined AAWCS standards to Australian Food News with some standards including that facilities and equipment are designed to ensure minimal interference and stress to livestock and that processing staff are professionally trained to manage livestock in accordance with low stress handling techniques.
“In addition to the AAWCS, there are several further standards that Aldi also adheres to, including four our fresh pork products, which are sourced from Australian Pork Industry Quality Assurance Program Gestation Staff Free Certified Farms,” Aldi’s spokesperson said.
“At an international level, Aldi has engaged stakeholders, reviewed international practices and the Business Benchmark on Animal Welfare, to develop an International Position Statement on Animal Welfare. Aldi Australia’s Animal Welfare policy is consistent with the principles and processes outlined in the international position,” the spokesperson concluded.
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