4 February 2019. Dehesa Grande, the Salamanca beef cooperative, which has more than 600 members, has obtained an Animal Welfare CertificateAENORwhich proves that the group's feedlot complies with the requirements of AENOR's Animal Welfare standard. The feedlot was opened in 2017 and has a production capacity of 1,000 fattened animals and 6,000 grass-fed calves per year.
This certificate broadens the cooperative's commitment to animal welfare as, towards the end of 2018, it obtained the same distinction for the abattoir where it slaughters its animals. The abattoir spans more than 4,000 m2 and is currently being extended to cover a total of 5,200 m2. 25,000 cows, 75,000 lambs and 3,000 pigs are slaughtered at the abattoir every year.
AENOR's Animal Welfare certificate is based on AENOR's animal welfare standard, which was developed in conjunction with the Instituto de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentarias (IRTA) [Institute for Food and Agriculture Research and Technology), and on the Welfare Quality® Protocol, which is the leading animal welfare protocol. This standard is primarily based on observing the animals and has been developed to a high scientific standard as it was devised by scientists from technology centres in many different countries who are experts on animal welfare. In order to grant the certificate, AENOR's expert animal welfare auditors must perform an exhaustive audit of the following four areas: shelter, diet, health and the natural behaviour of the animals.
Analysis is performed on areas that are directly related to the cattle's welfare, such as resting areas, presence of wounds or inflammation and the behaviour of the animals.
The AENOR Animal Welfare certificate is the only certificate currently available in Spain that guarantees that the requirements set forth in the Welfare Quality® Protocol have been complied with, as AENOR's auditors have gained authorisation and qualifications from the Welfare Quality® platform.
Among other benefits, this certificate demonstrates that a company is concerned about the welfare of its animals and has made a long-term commitment to good livestock practices, in-line with the company's current values and consumer preferences.
The certificate also proves that the company has complied with all the requirements to ensure that animals are protected when they are slaughtered, so as to reduce their suffering as much as possible.
This certificate also helps to ensure the quality of products and the sustainability of the sector, as it has been proven that products made from animals with better welfare offer a better quality and yield, which contributes to a better use and consumption of natural resources.
Moreover, it demonstrates that the company has voluntarily submitted to and passed the test set by AENOR, which is well-known for its rigour, integrity and independence.
The beef cooperative's commitment to animal welfare is in-line with its policies on quality, sustainability and efficiency.