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Applegate, a producer of All Natural and organic meats has announced that it intends to upgrade standards of welfare for broilers by 2024.
The Company which was purchased by Hormel for $775 million in 2015 will adopt Global Animal Partnership standards with third-party verification.
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The requirements will include:
Using broiler breeds “scientifically proven to have markedly improved welfare outcomes”. It is unclear whether this specifically means slow-growing broilers or other than “high-yield” strains
Providing a stocking density of 6 pounds/ft.2 which corresponds to approximately 1ft.2 per average U.S. broiler
Upgrades including natural daylight and enrichments
Replacing conventional shackling and electrical stunning with controlled atmosphere systems.
Applegate claims to source livestock raised without antibiotics on vegetarian diets and in the case of beef without beta agonists. Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in hogs and poultry and beta agonists in poultry.
The Applegate range includes bacon, deli meat, breaded chicken, hot dogs, dinner sausages and grilled chicken strips.