02/25/2013 12:47 pm ET Updated Feb 25, 2013

Walmart's Animal Welfare Policy Among Worst For Major Companies: Report

Walmart is among the worst big companies when it comes to making sure that the animals it sells are well treated, according to a new report from the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare. The report ranks Walmart in the lowest tier and claims animal welfare is not on Walmart's business agenda.

The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare, a research and advocacy group aiming to improve animal welfare standards, ranked companies based on their governance, management commitment and innovation on animal welfare. Unilever, the maker of Dove and Slim-Fast, was ranked highly by the study, which commends its practice of requiring suppliers to adhere to standards around sustainable agriculture.

Walmart did not immediately respond to an email from The Huffington Post requesting comment.

The report comes as food producers are still reeling from the horse meat scandal rocking Europe. Companies, including a British arm of Walmart, have admitted to finding horse DNA in products labeled as "beef," which they received from far-flung suppliers.

Other popular American food brands fare better on the animal welfare ranking, but still not well. The report ranks Kraft Foods, Nestle, Starbucks and Yum! (the parent of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants) in the second-to-lowest tier.

More than 70 percent of big global companies covered by the study view farm animal welfare as a business issue, but only one-quarter of them have published goals related to it, according to the study.

(Hat tip: the Financial Times.)



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