Applebee’s has revised plans to require its suppliers to sign animal welfare assurances.

A Dec. 19, 2001 letter from the Overland Park, KS-based restaurant chain sent to suppliers asked that they meet specific animal welfare guidelines. The National Pork Board responded addressing animal welfare issues in isolation was unwise and could lead to unintended consequences.

In a recent followup letter, Applebee’s said it is working as a member of the National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR) "to develop science-based and achievable animal welfare guidelines for the farm-to-table continuum." The guidelines are expected to be finalized in mid-2002. Once completed, Applebee’s plans to review the standards for adoption.

Paul Sundberg, DVM, assistant vice president, Veterinary Issues, National Pork Board, says the group is pleased that Applebee’s has rethought its position.

He notes the Pork Board, through the checkoff-funded Animal Welfare Committee, is continuing to talk to Applebee’s and other restaurants and retailers to provide them with information about pork producer, science-based programs.