Animal Welfare Policy

Jan 1, 2020

Wilson Vale is fully committed to operating in a sustainable, responsible manner and to improving animal welfare standards across our business.

We work closely with our customers and our supply chain to regularly review and improve the animal welfare standards in line with the Five Freedoms as defined by the Farm Animal Welfare Council:

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst – by ready access to fresh water and a diet designed to enhance optimum health.
  • Freedom from discomfort – by providing an appropriate living environment with adequate shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  • Freedom from disease and injury – by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment
  • Freedom to display normal behaviour – by providing sufficient space, adequate facilities and company appropriate to the animal’s own kind and natural habitat requirements.
  • Freedom from fear and distress – by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

In addition to the Five Freedoms commitment around animal welfare, we continually monitor how our food is sourced. Working with our clients, we will strive for the highest standards of ingredients to be used in our kitchens that work alongside our clients’ budget requirements.

Free Range Eggs and Chicken Welfare

We are committed to only purchasing eggs that are free range, both liquid and shell, and are working to ensure all egg ingredient products are cage free by 2025.

The Better Chicken Commitment

Wilson Vale has pledged its support for the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC), by affirming its commitment to surpass or meet the BCC’s specified standards for 100% of the chicken within our UK supply chain by 2026.

We are working with our clients to encourage them to support our work with the BCC to improve the living conditions of all birds within the UK food chain.

By 2026, we will require our suppliers to meet the following requirements for 100% of the (fresh, frozen and processed) chicken in our supply chain:

  1. Comply with all EU animal welfare laws and regulations, regardless of the country of production.
  2. Implement a maximum stock density of 30kg/m2 or less. Thinning is discouraged, but if it must be practiced can only be done so once per flock to reduce the stress on the birds.
  3. Adopt breeds that demonstrate higher welfare outcomes: either from the following breeds-  Hubbard Redbro, Hubbard Norfolk Black, JA757, JACY57, 787,957 or 987, Rambler Ranger, Ranger Classic, Ranger Gold, or other breeds that meet the criteria of the RSPCA Broiler Breed Welfare Assessment Protocol currently or in the future.
  4. Meet improved environmental standards including: At least 50 LUX of light, including natural light, at least 2 meters of usable perch and 2 pecking substrates per 1,000 birds, no cages or multi-tiered systems and air quality that meets or exceeds the EU Broiler directive.
  5. Adopt controlled atmospheric stunning using inert gas, multi-phase systems or effective electrical stunning without live inversion.
  6. Demonstrate compliance to the above via a third party audit and annual public reporting on progress.

BCC Reporting

We report on our poultry suppliers against the BCC Criteria annually. This allows us to track progress and gives a solid benchmark to engage with our suppliers for the next year.

BCC Criteria2023
% Implementation
1.Comply with all EU animal welfare laws and regulations regardless of country of origin.100%
2.Maximum stock density of 30kg/m2 or less10%
3.Higher Welfare Breeds0%
4.Enrichment – Light51%
Enrichment – Perch space60%
Enrichment – Air quality45%
No Cages or Multi Tier Systems100%
5.Adopt controlled atmospheric stunning or effective electrical stunning without live inversion100%
6.Third party auditing (environmental, red tractor etc100%
*Figures are based on data collected from 90% of our suppliers (2023).

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