FREDERICKSBURG, Pa., Feb. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Bell & Evans Humane Animal Welfare Standard is the culmination of years of best practices and guarantees the highest standards of humane animal treatment from the farm, to transport and the processing plant. Bell & Evans' new Slow Induction Anesthesia (SIA) system is the centerpiece of The Bell & Evans Standard. "SIA is a more humane, low-stress system that gently puts the birds to sleep before they are processed, without pain or suffering," states Scott Sechler, owner of Bell & Evans. There is no water-bath stunning and the birds are never suffocated. Leading livestock-handling authority, Temple Grandin, agrees, "...this (SIA process) is a big step forward in chicken welfare." (http://www.bellandevans.com/content/humane-animal-welfare) Conventional live hang areas are dimly lighted to keep birds from being startled. Workers must contend with the stress and dust from struggling, flapping chickens.
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HSUS and PETA Approve
The HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) applauds Bell & Evans' efforts to raise their chickens with the best quality of life. "The Humane Society of the United States fully supports Bell & Evans' switch to Slow Induction Anesthesia (SIA). The SIA system Bell & Evans has developed improves bird welfare by eliminating live-dumping and live-shackling and worker contact with live birds," states Matt Prescott, spokesperson for HSUS. Bell & Evans worked closely with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) on this project. Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA, wrote, "Bell & Evans shows that animal welfare and good business can go hand in hand...and by listening to consumers' wishes, Bell & Evans has set a new standard for the chicken-supply industry."
Humane Animal Treatment Starts on the Farm
Unlike the conditions depicted in Food Inc., Bell & Evans starts each new flock with fresh, new litter. "Other poultry growers place baby chicks on old manure... flock after flock," says Scott Sechler, owner of Bell & Evans. "Some may top-dress the litter in severe wet spots or add chemical litter treatments to reduce ammonia levels in the barns." Bell & Evans removes all manure and litter after every flock of chickens, then thoroughly cleans and disinfects the barn. (http://www.bellandevans.com/content/farm) Fresh litter and constant fresh air circulation keep dust and ammonia to a minimum in Bell & Evans' barns.
Raised without Antibiotics
Raised naturally in a low-stress environment, Bell & Evans chickens start out healthier and stay healthier. "Some producers say their chickens are antibiotic-free, but it only means they were antibiotic-free when they're sold. It doesn't mean they weren't given antibiotics sometime in their life cycle. Bell & Evans chickens receive no antibiotics, ever," Tom Stone, Director of Marketing, notes.
No DDGS in Feed
DDGS (distiller's dry grains with solubles) protein from Ethanol by-products is becoming the replacement for the corn that livestock producers can no longer afford. Its energy value is approximately 17 percent lower than corn, but the more alarming issue is the unregulated use of antibiotics to control bacteria in the Ethanol fermentation process. Not all antibiotics are metabolized and they remain in the DDGS protein, along with who knows what? "It's what we do and do not feed the chickens that makes the difference," Sechler adds. "I feel this 'Ethanol garbage' is not good for any animal, and it's certainly not good for the people who eat them."
No Hexane Separated Soybeans
Bell & Evans chickens thrive on their all-vegetarian diet of corn and extruded and expeller-pressed soybeans, blended with essential vitamins and minerals. Bell & Evans does not use Hexane solvent to separate the oil and vitamins from the soybean. Sechler asserts, "Hexane solvent may produce a cheaper soy meal, but in my opinion, it's junk!" They create soy meal by extruding and expeller-pressing the beans. Using this process, all the vitamins and some of the oil stays in the meal.
Bell & Evans has been family-owned and operated since the 1890s, distributing Raised without Antibiotics and Organic chickens nationwide.
SOURCE Bell & Evans