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Food Safety Net Services Certification and Audit (FSNS C&A) has announced the creation of the FSNS C&A Temple Grandin Responsible Cattle Care Program. The program was developed under the guidance of Dr. Temple Grandin, driven by science, founded in practicality, and dedicated to continuing Dr. Grandin’s tireless service to the meat industry, and her core purpose of continuing to improve animal welfare. Suppliers volunteer to participate in this innovative approach to improving the conditions under which cattle are managed throughout their life. This system focuses on objective scoring at meat harvesting facilities for indicators of responsible care and management of animals intended for human consumption. Participants in this program have committed themselves to developing a management system that uses routine monitoring to enhance the lives of the animals on which we depend. This is achieved by assessing the condition of animals received at the meat processing facility. Several of the measures that will be monitored at the plant are lameness, cleanliness, injuries, and internal health. While this program provides a means for greatly improving animal welfare through the reduction of serious welfare issues, it cannot measure cattle handling or painful procedures that occur prior to arrival at the meat processing plant.
Nolan Ryan Beef® is the first beef company to utilize the FSNS C&A Temple Grandin Responsible Cattle Care Audit to assess animal conditions prior to harvest. This audit occurs in addition to annual third–party animal welfare audits conducted at their partner facility that monitor humane handling at the meat processing facility. During this audit, animals are inspected upon arrival the plant for lameness, health condition, injuries, cleanliness, and signs of overall level of care from their previous point of ownership. Only suppliers providing proper animal care will be included in the Nolan Ryan Beef®. Nolan Ryan, Texas rancher and majority owner of Nolan Ryan Beef®, shares “As a lifetime cattle rancher who has a heart and passion for animals, I’m honored to partner with FSNS C&A and Dr. Grandin in the utilization of this program. We feel this is an essential step in ensuring the continuous improvement of animal welfare throughout the supply chain.” Perry Coughlin, President and CEO of Nolan Ryan Beef®, adds “We understand the proper care and handling of livestock is an ethical responsibility for everyone involved in this industry. Not only does it make good business sense, but it aligns with our mission and core values.”
FSNS C&A recognizes the lifelong commitment of Dr. Temple Grandin to improving the lives of animals raised for food. Both Dr. Grandin and FSNS C&A also recognize the critical role of animal production as part of a sustainable food system. Recognizing this, FSNS C&A and Dr. Grandin believe that it is imperative that those involved in food animal production have the highest commitment to animal husbandry and demonstrate their commitment through such venues as third-party verification of compliance with high standards. The role of independent, third-party verification is important in providing transparent assurance to consumers about practices used in animal production.