WICHITA, Kan. – Officials with Cargill Protein announced on March 29 the investment of approximately $17 million to replace its electric stunning equipment with a Controlled Atmosphere Stunning (CAS) system at its London, Ontario-based chicken processing plant. The company plans to have the conversion completed this spring. Cargill was an early adopter of CAS with the implementation of the technology at its turkey-processing plant more than 10 years ago. The company was also among the first to implement Remote Video Auditing as part of its animal welfare program. The London facility is about 31-years-old and currently employs about 830 workers.

A growing number of processors are investing in CAS to enhance animal welfare practices and in response to customers requesting it as a more humane method of slaughtering while ensuring the safety of workers and maximizing the quality of the poultry products.

“As we grow our business to meet consumer and customer demand for wholesome, nutritious, affordable animal protein, we continuously explore enhancements that position us as an industry leader in both animal welfare and protein production,” said Claudecir Pagnussatto, general manager at the London plant. “Our new CAS system will help reduce handling stress with chickens, resulting in a higher-quality, more consistent product.”

Cargill joins Olymel, Perdue Farms and Miller Poultry and Costco’s Lincoln Premium Poultry as investors in CAS technology designed for poultry. 

“Cargill is committed to ensuring the highest standards of animal welfare are maintained and believes all food animals deserve respect and dignity prior to harvesting. We have led the way in many areas of animal welfare,” said Stephanie Cottee, DVM, Cargill’s global head of poultry welfare based in London, Ontario.