VICTORY! Global food giant Nestlé commits to sweeping action on animal cruelty

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated 22 August 2014

Signalling a worldwide shift in corporate action on animal cruelty, the mega-company has announced plans to stop supporting many of the cruellest farming practices.

Pigs, chickens and cows around the world will be spared surgical procedures like castration without pain relief and severe confinement when Nestlé implements groundbreaking changes to its supply chain.

Developed in partnership with HSUS and World Animal Protection — and described as “the most comprehensive and ambitious animal welfare program by a global food retailer to date" — the commitment by the world’s largest food company will span 90 countries and some 7,300 suppliers.

It comes six months after an undercover investigation by Mercy for Animals revealed shocking cruelty, including cows being kicked, stabbed and dragged by machinery, at a US dairy farm that supplies Nestlé. Watch the investigation video (warning: graphic footage).

In clear recognition of growing public concern about the treatment of animals raised for food, Nestlé’s decision reflects a powerful new commercial reality: customers are becoming informed — and don’t want to support animal cruelty.

What will this mean for animals?

No more invasive procedures without pain relief

Once the changes take effect, cows in farms that supply Nestlé will no longer be subjected to painful procedures like de-horning, tail docking, and castration without pain relief.

Cracking down on pig cruelty

Nestlé will stop buying from facilities where mother pigs are confined to tiny crates during pregnancy, or where tail docking or surgical castration are performed.

Getting rid of battery cages

Hens who lay eggs for Nestlé products will be spared a life of misery in a barren battery cage.

More protection for dairy calves

The food giant has also vowed to rule out cruel ‘veal crates’ — tiny stalls used to confine dairy calves for their entire lives prior to slaughter. (In Australia, unwanted dairy calves are typically trucked directly to slaughter at 5 days of age.)

Animals Australia commends Nestlé for using its power to help reduce the suffering of millions of animals globally — and for demonstrating corporate leadership in an area of such importance to people — and animals. We encourage and look forward to seeing Nestlé act swiftly on its commitment as it begins the process of transforming its global supply chains.

This landmark victory for animals reflects a worldwide shift in public awareness and the power of consumer advocacy. If you’d like to see other influential companies follow Nestlé’s lead, please join us in calling on McDonald’s Australia to follow its UK and EU counterparts in phasing out cage eggs!

And of course, it’s not just huge companies that can make a difference for animals! We each have the power to help animals by making cruelty-free choices each and every day.