In 2022, the Animal Health and Welfare Advisory Council focused on industry education, category expert collaboration and directional insights to better define our organizational approach to animal health and welfare. Informed by this expertise, we have expanded our statements to include aquaculture, beef and dairy, and broilers along with updates to previously existing statements on the animal welfare framework, antibiotics and antimicrobials, cage-free eggs and sow group housing.
In 2022, guided by the expertise of our Animal Health and Welfare Advisory Council, we transitioned from the Five Freedoms to the Five Domains, a structure we consider to be more comprehensive. Informed with the learnings and debates of the scientific community, our adoption of the Five Domains aligns with our current approach and allows for evolution in this area, which is necessary for continuous improvement in welfare standards.
We support efforts by our suppliers to strive towards improvements in how animals are cared for. Our commitment to animal health and welfare in Applebee’s and IHOP’s supply chain is guided by the Five Domains Model is a science-based approach to assessing animal welfare that recognizes that animals experience feelings that range from negative to positive. The Model emphasizes the importance of a positive mental state, which is collectively determined by the domains.
We support animal health and well-being practices that reduce, and where possible, eliminate the need for antibiotic therapies in food animals. Antibiotics are important veterinary medical tools to prevent, control and treat disease in herds or flocks. We continue to partner with our suppliers as they develop antibiotic stewardship programs aligned with the principles described here.
We will also continue our engagement with all suppliers to reduce the use of medically important antibiotics in each of our meat supply chains to promote animal, human, and ecosystem health; the use of medically important antibiotics for growth promotion is prohibited in our supply chain. For progress see the 2022 Dine Brands ESG Report.
We seek to procure seafood from suppliers who are members of the Global Seafood Alliance, and who are certified through Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) or Best Seafood Practices (BSP).
We only source from suppliers who are committed to responsibly raising and processing beef/dairy cattle and employ licensed veterinarians for animal health oversight. Beef products within our supply chain come from harvest facilities that meet or exceed the NAMI (North America Meat Institute) guidelines. We support and encourage all farmers, ranchers and dairymen that are part of the Dine Brands supply chain to be certified through Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) and Beef Quality Assurance Transportation (BQAT) or follow the guidelines of Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM).
We only source from suppliers who are committed to responsibly raising and processing chickens. This means that the chickens in our supply chain are monitored by licensed veterinarians and raised and managed by people trained in animal health and welfare. Our suppliers meet or exceed the National Chicken Council (NCC) standards for animal care and handling.
We are committed to a U.S. egg supply by the end of 2025 that is derived 100% from hens housed in a cage-free environment and are aiming to have at least 33% of our egg supply chain cage-free by the end of 2023, 66% by the end of 2024 and 100% by the end of 2025.
In Latin America, we are committed to 100% cage-free by the end of 2025 upon supplier availability and consumer affordability. For progress see the 2022 Dine Brands ESG Report.
Dine Brands is committed to sourcing pork products for our domestic Applebee’s and IHOP restaurants from suppliers who utilize group housing systems. We monitor progress as the percentage 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. We will continue to monitor this goal and the industry direction to make progress towards increasing the percentage of pork from suppliers who use group housing systems. We request suppliers to provide annual progress on their efforts to comply with our plans. We prioritize collaboration with our vendor partners to promote animal health and welfare. For updated progress see the 2022 Dine Brands ESG Report.