Animal welfare is an important issue to CKE Restaurants, our stakeholders, franchisees, investors and guests. We believe that our policies should be developed based on current scientific opinions, industry regulations, and advice from industry experts and our suppliers. Our suppliers are expected to meet or exceed government regulations and established industry standards.
CKE Restaurants understands the critical role antibiotics play in human medicine and in ensuring the health of farm animals. We support the principles and actions of antibiotic stewardship and the judicious use of antibiotics. To that end, CKE has requested that all of our meat and poultry suppliers implement needed management practices for responsible antibiotic use and are in compliance with the FDA.
We recognize that just as humans sometimes need antibiotics for their health, animals sometimes need antibiotics to ensure their welfare and to prevent suffering. In addition, we respect a veterinarian’s judgment about the best care in these instances.
In 2014, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s became the first major fast food chains to offer an All-Natural Burger, featuring grass-fed, free-range beef from cattle that were raised with no antibiotics, no steroids and no added hormones.
- All facilities that handle live animals must adhere to good animal husbandry practices and operate in accordance with Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) directives. FSIS is the public health agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture responsible for ensuring that the nation's commercial supply of meat, poultry and egg products is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged.
- All facilities must provide an annual Animal Welfare Audit performed by auditors certified by the Professional Animal Auditing Certification Class Organization (PAACO), which promotes the humane treatment of animals.
- In 2014, CKE Restaurants introduced the All-Natural Burger, which features a beef patty made from grass-fed, free-range cattle raised with no added hormones, antibiotics or steroids. The launch of this burger has been very successful and we anticipate our natural beef sales to continue to increase over time.
- We have committed to group housing for pregnant sows by 2022.
- All facilities that handle live animals must adhere to good animal husbandry practices and operate in accordance with FSIS directives.
- All facilities must provide an annual Animal Welfare Audit performed by a PAACO certified auditor.
- Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s now offer a minimally processed, all-natural chicken fillet with no artificial ingredients and no preservatives; beginning in 2017, the fillet will also be made with chicken raised without the use of antibiotics.
- Additionally, Carl’s Jr. currently offers an all-natural turkey patty made from turkey raised without the use of antibiotics.
- All slaughter facilities must follow the FSIS Poultry Products Inspection Act and provide an Animal Welfare Audit performed by a PAACO certified auditor.
- All facilities that handle live animals must comply with USDA Regulations, good animal husbandry practices and the National Dairy FARM Program, which is an on-farm animal well-being program and third-party verification system that demonstrates a commitment to safe, wholesome and nutritious dairy products, and ensuring that animals receive the highest level of care.
- All facilities that provide egg products (excluding cage-free) must demonstrate compliance with U.S. generally accepted animal welfare guidelines.
- All facilities that provide cage-free egg products must comply with standards and practices for laying hens by providing certification from the American Humane Certified Program, the Certified Humane Program or the United Egg Producers Certified Program (UEP).
- We have committed to transitioning our egg supply to 100% cage-free eggs in all U.S. restaurants by 2025.
- The 100% cage-free egg supply is subject to the availability of cage-free eggs that comply with standards, practices and certification from the American Humane Certified Program, the Certified Humane Program or the United Egg Producers Certified Program, as well as subject to the availability of normal U.S. egg supplies that have not been further reduced due to unforeseen, catastrophic events such as the loss of nearly 40 million egg-laying hens in 2015 as a result of avian influenza.
CKE Restaurants is proud to be a member of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, an organization whose mission is to advance continuous improvement in sustainability of the global beef value chain through leadership, science, and multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration.