Animal Health and Welfare
We adopted an Animal Health and Welfare Policy rooted in sustainable progress and accountability. For us to achieve positive impacts in animal welfare, we are working on:
- Consistently monitoring and assessing areas for continuous improvement in animal health and welfare through all aspects of our supply chain
- Creating and executing objective measurement systems that are third-party verified
- Collaborating with stakeholders both inside and outside the industry
- Supporting animal production practices that reduce, and, where possible, eliminate the need for antibiotic therapies in food animals by adoption of best or new practices
- Sourcing pork from U.S. suppliers using group housing systems for our U.S. restaurants across both brands
- Forming an Animal Health and Welfare Advisory Council in 2021 to include experts in the areas of livestock animal behavior, animal genetics, veterinary medicine, and farm animal production
We undertake an annual internal compliance review of our animal protein suppliers’ established animal handling procedures by requesting relevant third-party farm and plant animal audits, such as the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) harvesting audits, protocols developed by leading animal behaviorist Dr. Temple Grandin. By requesting that all suppliers submit their animal care policies, as well as relevant farm and plant audits on an annual basis, this guidance directs our practices as well as our selection of, and relationship with, sourcing partners.
Legal compliance makes up a key component of our policy and we require suppliers to meet all local laws, regulations and supplier codes globally. We expect all of our suppliers and employees to treat the animals they work with in a proper manner at all times and require our suppliers to comply with all laws put forth by all federal and local regulatory agencies.
Our promise as an organization is to unite communities over great food and memorable dining experiences. We believe our guidelines below bring our varied communities together around caring for our guests and the food supply for which we have great stewardship.
The Five Freedoms:
As we seek continuous improvements, we are committed to the Five Freedoms in guiding our overall approach to animal welfare through the supply chain:
- Freedom of hunger or thirst.
- Freedom from discomfort.
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease.
- Freedom to express normal behavior.
- Freedom from fear and distress.
We support animal production practices that reduce, and, where possible, eliminate the need for antibiotic therapies in food animals by adoption of best practices and /or new practices. Treating sick and injured animals and controlling an identified disease outbreak under veterinary supervision is important and are the only reasons for use of medically important antibiotics. We continue to work with our suppliers so that antibiotics are used judiciously, and their effectiveness maintained. We will also continue our engagement with all suppliers to reduce the use of medically important antibiotics in each of our meat supply chains.
We will require annual third-party auditing and ask our chicken, pork and beef suppliers to track and report to us their antibiotic use for meat supplied to us. We have begun reporting progress as noted below and will continue to do so. Approved third-party audit standards include the USDA’s CRAU Standard with guidelines for beef, poultry, and pork; an approved list of USDA Processed Verified Programs can be found here.
Supplier progress of the percentage of animals raised without use of medically important antibiotics except for treatment of sick and injured animals or controlling an identified disease outbreak under veterinary supervision:
- 7% Beef
- 22% Sows
- 97% Broilers
Note: These numbers represent both no use of medically important antibiotics in daily disease prevention and no antibiotics used for daily disease prevention.
To improve the welfare of chickens in our egg supply and meet consumer desire to know more about the origins of their food, across both brands, we are committed to a U.S. egg supply that is derived 100% from hens housed in a cage-free environment by the end of 2025. As of January 2022, 16% of our total egg volume is cage-free.
Moving forward, as a way to provide our stakeholders and suppliers with some direction on how Dine Brands plans to meet its commitment to reach 100% cage-free U.S. egg supply by the end of 2025, we are aiming to have at least 20% of our U.S. egg supply chain be cage-free by the end of 2022, 33% by the end of 2023, 66% by the end of 2024, 100% by the end of 2025.
While we announced annual targets for the first time in December 2020, we continue to work with our suppliers and plan to adjust our targets annually with the goal of accelerating our progress. We will report our progress meeting these benchmarks annually as well.
In Latin America, we are committed to 100% cage-free by the end of 2025 upon supplier availability and consumer affordability. We will report our progress at least annually.
We are committed to sourcing pork for our domestic restaurants across both brands where U.S. suppliers use group housing systems.
We continue to survey our suppliers, and suppliers will be asked to provide annual progress reports on their efforts to comply with our plans as requested so that we may evaluate where each supplier is with regard to reaching our goals.
As of December 2021, 45% of the pork supply comes from suppliers who use group housing systems, though not all pigs from these suppliers are raised in a group housing setting due to the variations in practices at individual farms. For additional explanation see the 2021 Dine Brands ESG Report.