Maple Leaf Foods invests in ‘world class’ animal welfare technology

By Ashley Williams

- Last updated on GMT

Maple Leaf Foods invests in animal welfare

Related tags: Pork, Processing equipment & plant design

Canadian-based Maple Leaf Foods has pledged to become the “most sustainable protein company on earth” by investing $28 million in a range of animal welfare technology at its poultry processing plant in Edmonton.

The investment will result in a 26,000-sq ft expansion at the Edmonton facility, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

Controlled atmosphere stunning, remote video auditing technologies and a lairage system will be installed at the facility as part of the company’s commitment to wipe out inhumane ways of slaughter.

Controlled atmosphere stunning technology, which is also installed at the company’s pork processing plant in Manitoba, ensures chickens are unconscious and humanely euthanized, reducing the amount of stress.

Remote video auditing is a tool that supports rigorous monitoring and compliance to best practices of animal care. The lairage system will enhance lighting, air quality and temperature control for chickens to rest comfortably and reduce stress.

“We are deploying world-class technologies and best practices that support our goal to eliminate stress and pain and provide humane treatment of animals in our care, while enhancing employee health and safety and food quality,”​ said Maple Leaf Foods’ CEO Michael McCain.

“With Canada's leading poultry brands, we are advancing many dimensions of sustainability, from eliminating antibiotics, to best practices in animal care and dramatic reductions in our environmental footprint.”

Maple Leaf Foods has been enhancing its position in the Canadian market this year with a host of other investments, as well as arrangements to tap the growing demand for poultry. The firm recently reached an agreement to acquire two poultry plants from Cericola Farms, as well as adding a second shift at the Edmonton facility. They also invested approximately $16 million to expand capacity at its hatchery operations in Wetaskiwin, Alberta.

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