John McGlone, director of animal welfare services at Texas Tech University, urged poultry processors to take control of their animal welfare programs. Failure to do so is not only irresponsible, but it could also greatly hurt the company's image and overall financial success, McGlone said at the USPOULTRY Financial Management Seminar, held recently in Orlando, Fla.

Animal rights activists not only target poultry farms and processors, but they also target the retailers who sell their products. And when the public learns about mistreatment of the animals by processors or by their growers, all three are perceived as abusive.

"When you attack the brand, you attack the image. Brand is very important to any company that sells a product," McGlone said.


McGlone gave several examples of how when retailers learned of animals being treated with disrespect at the farm or processor levels, they went elsewhere for their meat and poultry supplies.

The best way to eliminate this risk is to not only have an animal welfare program in place, but to also have everybody on board.

"From the CEO to the middle management to the workers, every single person should be familiar and conversational about animal welfare," McGlone said.