Animal Breeding And Health

Our animals are not genetically modified and do not receive hormones at any stage in our breeding system.

Medicines and vaccinations are solely handled by recommendation of our veterinarians upon on-site visits to assess the clinical condition of the animals, in line with the guidelines internally established by the company and its specialists, and with legislations and client regulations.

Contracts between BRF and integrated producers determine that any intervention with the animals bred must be carried out solely by the company, including any treatment, including non-drug treatments. The company also has a network of laboratories that help identify the causes of problems with the animals, and speeds up decision-making by releasing quick results.

BRF does not use antibiotic growth promoters in the breeding of poultry and pigs and seeks continuous process improvement, enabling the gradual reduction of medicines throughout the chain. We firmly believe in the concept of responsible use of antibiotics so we follow biosecurity and animal welfare procedures that help us maintain the use of antibiotics restricted to the necessary.

Since the beginning of 2019, 100% of the production of animals in the agricultural chain of BRF is free of antibiotic growth promoters (AGP-Free). When antibiotics are needed, the medicine is prescribed by a veterinary doctor. The grace period of each active ingredient is strictly followed. BRF professionals guide the use of the products to the company's integrated partners.

The company has an internal policy on the use of antibiotics in the poultry chain in Brazil, developed by veterinarians specializing in animal health for agricultural purposes. This document describes the general guidelines on antibiotics and how the company has been addressing this issue.

Antibiotics should never be used to promote weight gain or growth in animals, or increase the efficiency of animal feed.In addition, BRF has reduced the use of antibiotics considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) as critical to human health. All antibiotics considered highly critical and important for human health by who (HPCIA - Highest Priority Critically Important Antimicorbials) are not used in the poultry chain globally (Brazil and Turkey). HPCIA antibiotics were withdrawn from use in Turkey as of June 2021 demonstrating the company's commitment to the topic. We are working hard to reduce the use of this class of active ingredients in the pig chain.

The reduction of physical changes in animals is one of the main points of work within the Animal Welfare program done at BRF. Our suppliers must avoid routine mutilations, such as tooth cutting, tail cutting, castration, beak cutting, and dehorning whenever possible. The use of surgical interventions should be performed only to prevent suffering, pain, illness or injury.

Type Percentage Additional notes
Broiler Poultry 100% No broiler chicken undergoes any kind of physical change
Pigs 100% No pig undergoes mutilation to the ears.
99% Male pigs are neutered through immunocastration.
100% Pigs do not routinely undergo the process of cutting/wearing teeth
0% All pigs undergo tail cutting in our operations.
Turkeys (BR) 0% All turkeys go through the laser beak trimming process in the hatchery
Turkeys (TK) 0% None of the birds undergo physical alteration
Cattle - Supplier chain being mapped
Dairy products 100% No dairy cattle undergo tail cutting. Around XX% of the mapped chain
100% Do not undergo wing cutting
0 The birds go through the beak trimming process

As an alternative to the use of antibiotics, vaccines, prebiotics and probiotics are used in the rations, besides biosecurity protocols. All these improvements would not be possible if we did not follow the animal welfare guidelines. Animals in welfare situation go through less stress periods, which helps to keep the immune system strong to fight the pathogens.

With the objective of making progress in welfare initiatives, we have part of our production working with ongoing environmental enrichment practices.

We have developed protocols and use different tools to find out mechanisms to encourage the natural behavior of our animals, helping to reduce stress and improve health conditions, such as:

  • For the pig breeding chain, the use of chains, ropes and straw has been gradually implemented in the breeding environments;

  • For the poultry chain, we use perches, bales of wood shavings and other pecking tools in many parent stock, turkey and broiler breeding farms.

Type Percentage Additional notes
Broiler Chicken (BR) 1,8% The birds have access beyond the bed, to pecking objects and bales of wood shavings
Broiler Chicken (TK) 0,1% Chickens have access to perches, demonstrating the beginning of the public commitment on the use of environmental enrichment.
Pigs 90% At least 90% of pigs have access to enrichment in a bay of the facility. The most common are wood, ropes and chains.
Turkeys (BR) 55% The birds have access to pecking objects and natural light
Turkeys (TK) 88% The birds have access to pecking objects and natural light
Eggs 56% Birds have access to nests and perches to demonstrate their natural behavior