Food In Canada

Animal welfare trends in Canadian food industry troubling: Report

By Food in Canada Staff   

Food Trends Meat &Poultry Canada Animal Welfare Scorecard Editor pick Mercy For Animals

Photo © Didesign021/Getty

The second annual Canada Animal Welfare Scorecard, published by Mercy For Animals, ranks 55 well-known brands on their animal welfare policies and performance and reveals a food industry falling behind that of other countries on key farmed animal treatment issues.

Loblaws, Tim Hortons, Sobeys, and Starbucks are among the household names rated and ranked in the 2022 Canada Animal Welfare Scorecard. Companies were awarded points for having public policies to transition to cage-free eggs, crate-free pork, and Better Chicken Commitment standards and for reporting implementation progress toward each of these goals.

Highlights from the 2022 Canada Animal Welfare Scorecard include the following:

  • Repeat top performers Chipotle and Whole Foods were joined in the gold tier by Panago and Unilever, among others.
  • Domino’s Pizza, Mary Brown’s, and Moxies ranked in the bottom tier, each receiving zero out of a possible 300 points.
  • Metro recorded one of the largest improvements over last year’s scorecard by becoming the first major Canadian retailer to demonstrate full transparency on phasing out gestation crates for pigs and cruel processing methods for chickens.
  • Tim Hortons, the country’s highest-grossing restaurant chain, failed to publicly report any progress on its animal welfare commitments for a second consecutive year.

Despite meaningful progress reported by leading retailers, restaurants, and consumer packaged goods brands, the 2022 Canada Animal Welfare Scorecard also reveals troubling welfare trends among Canada’s animal agriculture industries.


“Leading companies showing their progress is a good sign that they’re listening to concerned Canadians who increasingly care about transparency,” said PJ Nyman, senior corporate relations specialist at Mercy For Animals. “The report is a valuable accountability tool for Canadians to understand which companies are publicly prioritizing improvement of animal welfare, but there is still a lot of work to be done. This country is falling behind on critical animal welfare issues.”

The percentage of laying hens in Canada cruelly confined in cages is higher than in the United States, European Union, and United Kingdom. While more than 50 retailers across these same regions have published animal welfare policies aligned with Better Chicken Commitment standards, to date not a single Canadian retailer has worked successfully with a Canadian chicken producer to do the same.

“With oversight of animal welfare in this country concentrated in the hands of industry groups and the taxpayer-funded National Farm Animal Care Council made up of these same groups, Canada is falling behind,” said Nyman. “This is a case of the fox guarding the hen house. Industry needs to catch up to meet Canadians’ expectations and enable companies to accelerate animal welfare progress.”

Download the full rankings and report at

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