NSF Global Animal Wellness Standards

NSF Global Animal Wellness Standards take a holistic approach to animal wellness and goes above and beyond traditional animal welfare to include additional dimensions such as the environment, physical conditions and the social and emotional well-being of the animals.
Sheep and lamb  on a farmland

The food industry has become increasingly attuned to consumer and investor expectations and in order to meet these increasing demands for transparency and proactively respond to emerging trends regarding the welfare of animals, retailers and processors are requiring that animal handling and care guidelines are defined, implemented and measured. These guidelines are critical to the health and wellness of animals at every step from birth to slaughter.

Many companies with global supply chains have to work through a patchwork of local and regional approaches to demonstrate their commitment to animal wellness. To help companies manage their risk through a common, globally applicable approach, the NSF Global Animal Wellness Standards were created.

To be relevant in every country, region and market, the standards were designed to:

  • Recognize the variability in regulatory requirements and consumer and market pressures globally
  • Be outcome-based rather than prescriptive
  • Account for variations in awareness and implementation of scientific and technical developments

The Standards

The NSF Global Animal Wellness Standards address the full life cycle of all key species. These standards provide a solution for global companies looking for a consistent approach to animal wellness and are directly aligned with the five freedoms and science-based welfare principles and criteria.

No matter where in the world you source animals/animal products, the standards provide assurance that a strong, consistent animal wellness system is in place along the entire protein supply chain.

The standards cover:

  • Production
  • Transport
  • Assembly
  • Slaughter

For all key species including:

  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Small ruminants
  • Pig
  • Hatchery
  • Meat poultry
  • Egg-laying poultry

Tiered Approach

The standards have three tiers so there is an opportunity for specifying customers to bring suppliers on board at the baseline, but encourage growth and development to achieve higher tiers, up to certification.

The tiers are:

  • Baseline
  • Assurance
  • Certification

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