Applegate works with third-party certifiers like Global Animal Partnership® and Certified Humane® to ensure animals are raised and handled in ways that we believe line up with our mission and truly honor the Five Freedoms. The vast majority of our farms are third-party certified, in addition to being verified by our trained Applegate animal welfare experts.
- No antibiotics. Antibiotics can be used to treat disease (therapeutically) or can be used sub-therapeutically – a fancy way of saying to prevent disease from spreading. Some antibiotics can also help animals gain weight faster. We believe the overuse of antibiotics isn’t just bad for the animals. Studies show it’s contributing to the increase of antibiotic-resistant bacteria or superbugs. That’s why we don’t use them. You’re probably asking, what if an animal gets sick? If animals become ill, they are treated with antibiotics as prescribed by a veterinarian and sold to a supply chain outside of Applegate after a prescribed medication withdrawal period. But as a result of the superior animal husbandry practices like clean barns, fresh air and more space, fewer animals need to be treated in the Applegate program.
- No growth hormones or beta agonists. Applegate does not allow any kind of drug or medication to either speed up an animal’s growth or increase lean muscle mass. We don’t believe it’s natural, and some of the drugs have been shown to put animals under stress.
- 100 percent vegetarian feed or grass-fed. We feed our animals diets free of any animal by-products. These vegetarian diets are specially designed to promote natural growth. Our beef are raised on pasture their entire lives.
- More space. All animals raised for Applegate get more room than animals in other systems. They’re freer to engage in natural behaviors and have less stress.
- Environmental enrichments. We require environmental enrichments for all of our housed poultry and pigs. We provide “toys” and an atmosphere that allows animals to express normal, natural behaviors, which promote well-being.