While A Greener World doesn’t certify slaughter plants, we do provide confidential reviews and recommend plants who pass those reviews for use by certified farms and ranches. The reviews cover all aspects of the slaughter process from unloading, holding pens, handling, stunning and bleeding. As a nonprofit whose certifications cover birth through slaughter, our relationship with our plant partners is key to maintaining a rigorous and reliable certification process. A Greener World is the only certifier in North America that ensures the welfare of animals at slaughter for all species certified, which makes our role in high-welfare, sustainable agriculture incredibly important. Through independent, confidential third-party reviews, we give slaughter plants assurance and guidance on optimizing welfare, and farmers confidence in the welfare of their animals during a crucial component of animal husbandry.
In contrast to many other countries there are no baseline qualifications for working in the U.S. slaughter industry and as a result there is a wide range of technical proficiency. A Greener World helps to bridge this skills gap by providing training from world-renowned experts like Bristol University, and technical support from highly skilled slaughter specialists. Most independent plants (the primary servicers of independent farms) would otherwise have no access to this level of expertise. Over the past decade we have helped plants improve animal movement and comfort, eliminate electric prod use, reduce stress, improve handling and optimize stunning effectiveness. Many of these changes are easy and affordable; it just takes a fresh pair of eyes to spot them.
While we do not always review slaughter for species which are not certified due to limited nonprofit resources, many of the improvements made as a result of our visit for one species benefits additional species: for example, optimizing lighting or adding rubber matting in passageways reduces movement-related stress for all animals. In our experience, most welfare challenges are not the result of deliberate cruelty but of insufficient training or poor design. That said, if welfare challenges are egregious plants are suspended and/or terminated according to our Policy Manual.
While we acknowledge that not everyone chooses to include animal protein in their diet, maximizing animal welfare throughout the food chain ensures that we can meet our food needs without sacrificing animal welfare, public health or environmental responsibility.