SAN ANTONIO – The long-awaited creation of a Temple Grandin, Ph.D., certified animal welfare program has finally become a reality. Developed with the guidance of Grandin, Food Safety Net Services Certification and Audit (FSNS C&A) announced the first beef company to implement its Temple Grandin Responsible Cattle Care Program. Nolan Ryan Beef has the distinction of being the first early adopter of the program, which claims to be “driven by science, founded in practicality and dedicated to continuing Dr. Grandin’s tireless service to the meat industry,” according to a statement.

Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State Univ., a longtime contributing editor to MEAT+POULTRY and a respected consultant to the meat industry on humane handling of livestock, and FSNS officials agree that livestock handlers throughout the food chain must be committed to animal husbandry and demonstrate their commitment through third-party verification.

For Nolan Ryan Beef, the new audit supplements its third–party animal welfare audits designed to monitor humane handling at the processing plant. According to the statement, “During this audit, animals are inspected upon arrival the plant for lameness, health condition, injuries, cleanliness, and signs of overall level of care from their previous point of ownership. The audit is intended to ensure the company only sources cattle from producers that meet established animal welfare standards.”

“We understand the proper care and handling of livestock is an ethical responsibility for everyone involved in this industry,” said Perry Coughlin, president and CEO of Nolan Ryan Beef. “Not only does it make good business sense, but it aligns with our mission and core values.” 

Producers’ participation in the program is on a volunteer basis and the audits are conducted using an objective scoring system at slaughtering facilities. Audits provide an assess the animals using criteria that quantifies factors such as lameness, injuries, cleanliness and internal health.    

“As a lifetime cattle rancher who has a heart and passion for animals, I’m honored to partner with FSNS C&A and Dr. Grandin in the utilization of this program,” said Nolan Ryan, the Texas-based beef company’s majority owner. “We feel this is an essential step in ensuring the continuous improvement of animal welfare throughout the supply chain.”