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Tyson Foods is evolving its approach to animal welfare by integrating a new welfare framework across its global operations, known as the Five Domains.
Tyson’s Office of Animal Welfare plays an important role in ensuring the company’s vision for animal welfare becomes a reality: to be the world leader in animal welfare through compassionate care based on sound science. Part of being a leader means being open to creative thinking, innovation, and evolving knowledge and practices. As devised by Professor David Mellor and colleagues, the Five Domains provides a comprehensive platform that incorporates functional and behavioral components, which, considered as a whole, provide an assessment of an animal’s overall mental state, also known as the welfare of the animal.
While Tyson Foods acknowledges the importance of the Five Freedoms welfare framework (freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain, injury, or disease; freedom to express normal behavior; and freedom from fear and distress) in the development of its animal welfare approach, the company made the strategic decision to transition from the Five Freedoms to the Five Domains last year.
Tyson is now moving ahead with widescale integration of the Five Domains across the enterprise. By adopting the Five Domains, the company’s welfare practices are evolving and allowing the company to identify opportunities for enhancement and examine positive outcomes and behaviors of each animal, therefore providing a better understanding of animal needs and ultimately better welfare outcomes.
“Incorporating the Five Domains into our daily conversations and actions is essential for Tyson Foods to drive continuous improvement in our welfare program and culture throughout our global operations”, said Dr. Ken Opengart, vice president of global animal welfare, Tyson Foods.
The Five Domains
With continuous improvement comes research, learning, and the evolution of ideas. The Five Domains provides a platform that allows for a more comprehensive understanding and assessment of welfare outcomes due to a range of influences. The Five Domains is a more progressive conceptual animal welfare framework that includes promoting positive mental states through four domains:
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