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September 12, 2017

Multinational food companies meet with Vietnamese egg and pork producers to discuss animal welfare

Humane Society International

  • Participants take part at HSI's farm animal roundtable in Viet Nam. Trang Dang

In a pioneering effort by Viet Nam’s food industry, representatives from some of the leading food service and hospitality companies around the world met today with Vietnamese egg and pork producers interested in supplying higher welfare cage-free eggs and crate-free pork. Humane Society International, in partnership with Nong Lam University, hosted the roundtable to discuss the growing shift in Viet Nam’s food sector towards higher animal welfare products.

The roundtable, which took place at the Pullman Saigon Centre in Ho Chi Minh City, brought together Accor Hotels, Sodexo and Marriott International, along with government officials, and egg and pork farmers from Tien Giang province. In response to consumer concerns about the treatment of animals, a growing number of food companies are ending the caged confinement hens and breeding pigs from their supply chains globally, including in Viet Nam.  

Trang Dang, HSI Viet Nam campaign manager for farm animals, said: “We’re excited to bring together food service providers, restaurants, hospitality chains, egg producers and government officials to plan the transition to cage-free eggs and crate-free pork in Viet Nam. This is the first step towards improving the welfare of millions of animals raised for food in the country, and we look forward to engaging more stakeholders in the food industry in this effort moving forward.”

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Dr. Nguyen Quang Thieu, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine from Nong Lam University issued the following statement: “As a part of the university goals and mission, we aim to educate students with knowledge on animal welfare as they will become the future of Viet Nam’s agriculture industry. We’re glad to partner with Humane Society International on this informative workshop, which is a great initial on spreading animal welfare to the public.”

In Viet Nam and around the world, breeding sows are often confined for most of their lives in gestation crates, individual metal cages barely larger than their bodies, preventing them from turning around and taking more than a few steps forward and backward. Egg-laying hens also spend their entire lives confined in wire battery cages, so small that they cannot even fully spread their wings. Science confirms what common sense tells us: the lack of space and restriction of movement is detrimental to the physical health of these animals and causes enormous frustration and suffering.

However, advocates for better animal welfare are making progress around the world. The use of conventional battery cages for laying hens is banned or being phased out under laws or regulations throughout the EU, in five U.S. states, in New Zealand, Bhutan and in the Australian Capital Territory. Officials in the majority of states in India, the world’s third largest egg producer, have declared that the use of battery cages violates the country’s animal welfare legislation, and the country is debating a national ban.

Media contact:
In Viet Nam: Trang Dang, Trangd@humanesociety.org
In the U.S.: Raul Arce-Contreras, rcontreras@humanesociety.org, +1 301-721-6440

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