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McDonald's Reaches Animal Welfare Milestone: 500 Global On-Site Audits

Published 05-15-03

Submitted by McDonald's Corporation

OAK BROOK, IL - McDonald's reported today that it has reached a global milestone in its on-site animal welfare audits, according to a key member of the company's independent Animal Welfare Council (AWC).

For the calendar year of 2002, 500 top-to-bottom audits of beef, pork and poultry processing facilities around the world were completed. The audits are based on the work and research of Dr. Temple Grandin, an animal welfare expert, member of McDonald's AWC and McDonald's principal advisor since 1997. At Dr. Grandin's suggestion, McDonald's began comprehensive audits four years ago to cover the transportation, arrival, handling and entire processing of animals throughout McDonald's suppliers' facilities.

Dr. Grandin has kept track of audit data and trends since the program began with McDonald's U.S. suppliers in 1999. Since then, these audit standards have expanded to apply to all global meat processing facilities. Her analysis of 2002 can be found at: www.grandin.com/survey.

"There's a pre-McDonald's and a post-McDonald's era. I've been in this work for 30 years now and have seen more change since 1999 than in the whole rest of the time. Others are now doing audits too, but McDonald's was the pioneer," said Dr. Grandin.

Dr. Grandin has already provided training in Latin America, the Far East, Europe and the U.S. She has also personally conducted many of these audits, including ones at suppliers' facilities in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, China, Thailand, Germany, United Kingdom, and the U.S.

"This commitment to enforcing the highest standards in animal welfare practices is exactly what the consuming public expects. McDonald's leadership in this critical area has been the benchmark for the entire food industry," said Dr. Jeff Armstrong, Dean of the Michigan State University School of Agriculture, and a founding member of McDonald's six-person independent Animal Welfare Council. The AWC advises McDonald's on short- and long-term animal welfare priorities and action steps.

"Overall, we are pleased with our suppliers' performance," said Bob Langert, Senior Director, McDonald's Social Responsibility. "The vast majority passed the audit and in the small amount of cases where the audit was 'not acceptable,' corrective actions were taken within 30 days to bring the facility up to McDonald's standards. In this way, instead of just dropping the facility, McDonald's works with the auditors, suppliers and company experts to raise the bar across the industry."

More information on McDonald's animal welfare standards is available at: www.mcdonalds.com/corporate/social/marketplace/welfare/index.html.

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McDonald's Corporation

McDonald's Corporation

McDonald's is the world's leading global food service retailer with more than 35,000 locations serving approximately 70 million customers in more than 100 countries each day. More than 80% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business men and women.

To learn more about the company's sustainability initiatives, please visit www.aboutmcdonalds.com/mcd/sustainability and follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mcdonaldscorp) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/mcdonaldscorp).

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