Tyson Foods adopted and integrated The Five Domains animal welfare framework as a key driver in enhancing our animal welfare culture across our global operations. The Five Domains provide a more actionable platform to better communicate about and assess the dynamic continuum of animal welfare. The Five Domains is a practical and understandable framework that recognizes both positive and negative states through four domains — nutrition, physical environment, health and behavior — which ultimately contribute to the fifth domain, the mental state of the animal. In other words, it better connects what an animal experiences to the outcomes that are produced. The Five Domains also reinforces that the affective state of the animals with which we work or how the animals feel is important. Doing so reinforces that we care for and care about the animals entrusted to our care; this will move us from providing our animals with a “life worth living” (which implies minimal suffering) to providing them with a “good life” in which positive experiences are promoted.
From a practical perspective, the Five Domains framework aligns with our focus on key welfare indicators to drive continuous improvement in animal-based outcomes, and more intentionally makes the connection between specific actions or conditions and welfare outcomes, so that opportunities can be more quickly identified and addressed. With this awareness, a stronger connection is forged between individual roles and responsibilities and how they influence the animal's life experience. Greater understanding and appreciation allow for an individual to better evaluate the animal and their own performance, and also talk about welfare in a relatable and actionable manner — not only empowering our team members and reinforcing the importance of their roles, but cementing accountability in the welfare space.
This framework provides the structure that ties our institutional knowledge, expertise and commitment into our program and establishes a comprehensive and robust methodology of measuring, implementing and evaluating animal care and welfare practices. Incorporating the Five Domains into our daily conversations and actions is essential for us to achieve our mission of driving continuous improvement in the welfare outcomes of the animals entrusted to our care and to further enhance the welfare culture throughout our global operations.