The School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (HAFL) in Zollikofen (canton of Bern) has developed a methodology for assessing animal welfare for Migros. Assessment criteria have been defined in ten areas, which are all used as standard for every animal species, but are also tailored to each individual type of animal.
Information on the ten areas is provided below. Depending on the species of animal, the criteria – shown here as questions – are different; i.e. the scientists at HAFL have determined the relevant questions to ask so that an assessment can be made for each type of animal.
1. Access to outdoor areas and grazing land: Are the animals able to go outside regularly and, whenever possible, can they access grazing land?
2. Animal-friendly housing: Do the housing or stalls provided to the animals meet their needs?
3. Feed and water: Is there a sufficient number of feeding stations? Is there a sufficient volume of good-quality feed and water?
4. Inspections and traceability: How frequently are inspections carried out (annually, every two years, etc.)? Are the regulatory bodies certified and independent?
5. Transport: Under what conditions are the animals transported?
6. Animal health and medication: Are there guidelines on the use of medication? Is the use of antibiotics restricted?
7. Painful procedures on animals: Are horns removed? Are suction rings used? Are beaks trimmed? Are tails docked?
8. Slaughtering: What are the guidelines with respect to slaughtering the animals? Is anaesthesia used?
9. Rearing: mother-bonded rearing; intensive breeds, kept in groups.
10. Transport: Animal Welfare Ordinance; SAP guidelines; Bio guidelines; EU Animal Welfare Ordinance.
The M-Check rating is carried out based on available documents such as the National Animal Welfare Ordinance and guidelines from programmes such as labels. If there are no documents available, only one point is awarded.
The methodology was revised and improved in 2022. A number of species have not yet been assessed using the new methodology. This is planned to take place in 2023.