Shareholders concerned over McDonald's broiler welfare policy

1 October 2018, at 12:00am

USA - A Trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund) wrote a letter to McDonald's chairman of the board and the president and CEO of the company, taking aim at McDonald's

On 22 August 2018, Thomas DiNapoli, state comptroller of the Fund, wrote a letter to McDonald's outlining shareholder concern over the company's broiler welfare practices.

In the letter, DiNapoli wrote that although McDonald's outlined new best practice in line with updates to its welfare policy, "the new policy does not align with widely accepted best practices supported by science and rigorous research, and lags behind its competitors."

The letter indicates that this concern has the potential for McDonald's welfare practices to negatively imapact the Fund's investments of USD$343,764,725 and points out that over 80 major competitors have begun to implement standards recommended by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) or the Global Animal Partnership (GAP).

DiNapoli describes that improving broiler welfare not only makes moral sense, but is good for business through the increase in sales and profitability such improvements could enable, noting that the National Chicken Council found a trend of increasing concern in consumers over animal welfare and food safety.

We have reached out to animal welfare advocacy groups, the Fund and to McDonald's for comment.