Updated at: 10/12/2012 6:05 PM
(AP) LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The nation’s largest meat company, Tyson Foods Inc., says it’s launching an animal treatment audit of suppliers’ farms.
The company announced the audit Friday.
The news comes as animal welfare activists have been pressuring Tyson to move away from cramped cages for pregnant pigs.
But the Springdale, Ark.-based company says its latest move is not in response to actions from the Humane Society of the United States or other organizations.
Tyson president and CEO Donnie Smith says in a statement that the company knows consumers want assurances that their food is being produced responsibly.
Tyson says auditors will check on such things as animal access to food and water, as well as proper human-animal interaction and worker training.
Tyson is supplied by more than 12,000 independent livestock and poultry farmers.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)