Following are responses to today’s announcement regarding Tyson Foods’ launch of its new animal welfare program.

Jack Sinclair, executive vice president of Food, Walmart U.S.: “We applaud Tyson Foods for their strong commitment to improving the care for all animals in their supply chain. Tyson’s FarmCheck program is aligned with Walmart’s commitment to ethical sourcing, and shows leadership and dedication to addressing an issue all food suppliers and grocers face. We believe Tyson’s plan is a good model, and we strongly encourage suppliers without such programs to look for ways they can improve the way food is produced. To make a difference in the food supply chain, we must all work together. From the farm to the fork, we are committed to working with our suppliers,  government leaders and others to ensure the food supply system in place today is safe, sustainable and affordable.”

Mark O’Callaghan, vice president of Foodbuy, the nation’s largest procurement organization supporting the foodservice industry in North America: “Foodbuy is fully committed to efforts to enhance animal welfare and we believe Tyson’s FarmCheck program and planned use of independent auditors will result in more transparency and accountability. It’s a leading edge, collaborative and progressive initiative, a genuine example that will elevate the art and science of animal husbandry and human interaction.”

Janeen Salak-Johnson, associate professor of Stress Physiology and Animal Well-Being at the University of Illinois:“Tyson should be commended for taking the initiative to develop and implement an on-farm auditing program. It’s a step in the right direction and will help verify farmers are fulfilling their obligation to provide proper care for the animals they raise.”

Temple Grandin, professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University:“This program makes it very clear that mistreatment of farm animals will not be tolerated. It will be useful for training farm employees on proper animal handling.”

Dennis Gratz, a hog farmer from Farmington, IA: “We’re working with these animals every day, so it’s to our benefit that we treat them properly and keep them as healthy as possible. All of our employees have gone through animal handling training and we have posted instructions in our facilities reminding them of the proper way to treat hogs. Tyson’s auditing program is worthwhile because everything we can do to document our actions and show we’re providing excellent animal care – especially as customers get further removed from the farm – is a good thing.”

Jim Pillen of Pillen Family Farms of Columbus, NE:“We’re 100% committed to taking great care of our livestock and believe the better we take care of our pigs the better they’ll take care of us. We try hard to make sure everyone on our team understands our commitment and we work to incorporate it into our culture. We totally support an audit process because we believe it’s a privilege to raise livestock and we need to be transparent about how we operate.”