Success: Walmart Adopts Animal Welfare and Antibiotics Standards

Obvious overcrowding on a hog farm.

Target: Walmart CEO & President C. Douglas McMillon

Goal: Thank Walmart for instituting more humane animal treatment coupled with responsible and transparent use of antibiotics.

Walmart has agreed to animal welfare and antibiotic use standards set by the Farm Animal Welfare Council, established in Great Britain, called the “five freedoms.” They’ve also encouraged suppliers to adopt public reporting, on an annual basis, about antibiotic usage.

Walmart is probably the most protested corporation in the world and it’s having an effect. Among its many petitions directed at the giant retailer, ForceChange has focused on Walmart’s purchase of inhumanely raised pork products  and excessive use of antibiotics.  Now, in a genuine breakthrough, the country’s largest food source wants its suppliers to adopt established animal welfare standards and to be transparent about antibiotic usage.

Walmart previously agreed to source chickens not raised with antibiotics being used in humans. Now, it recommends antibiotic usage be transparent and limited only to sick animals. Pew Charitable Trust has an antibiotic resistance project and said Walmart had “gone further than any other company … by asking suppliers to submit annual reports.” Walmart is the first retailer to ask for transparency and many Walmart suppliers will now post antibiotic use on their websites.

Please thank Walmart’s CEO for taking these bold steps in the hopes that this example will be followed by other retailers of meat. Walmart has acknowledged that its decision, which was also applied to Sam’s Clubs, was driven by customer complaints about farm animal standards. That means your protests are being heard. Now, your thanks could encourage a trend among meat suppliers. Please let Walmart know you appreciate responsible leadership in curtailing antibiotic use in animals and in encouraging transparency.


Dear CEO & President McMillon,

Antibiotics have gone from being miracle drugs to being impotent in the face of resistant strains because we are overusing these drugs. We are grateful for the fact that you are listening to consumer’s concerns about the treatment of farm animals and are responsive to them. Pew Charitable Trust has recognized Walmart’s leadership in curbing the abuse of antibiotics and it’s our hope other retailers will take notice.

Your decision to ask meat suppliers to follow standards established by Farm Animal Welfare Council of Great Britain is to be commended and by encouraging transparency and more responsible use of antibiotics, you’ve shown critical leadership. As the world’s largest retailer and this country’s largest food supplier, Walmart is an obvious trend setter. It is our hope your example will encourage countless other food retailers to source more responsible and transparent meat suppliers.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Federal Government Employee

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  1. Lead by example, Wal-Mart is huge & I hope they stick to it & keep up the good work!

  2. Walmart must do better! They have the wherewithal to do way better!

    Animals should be happy & comfortable 24/7 from Day 1 — case closed! Anything short of this, just will not do!

    The comfort & happiness of the animals must come first! Otherwise, I do NOT buy from you!

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