Animal welfare

We support animal welfare – our animal welfare policy

Cows stand in a pasture in the mountains and eat.

The welfare of the animals used for our meat, fish, milk and egg products is an important concern for us, which is why we are actively committed to achieving the highest possible animal welfare standards for all animals.

Our stance

Transparent information

In addition to animal welfare, we take the environmental impact of animal raw materials seriously. We are aware of the link between climate protection and meat consumption. Using the M-Check Climate, Migros reports the CO2 footprint of its products. We are honest with our customers in this respect: meat is often given a poor climate rating, and Migros recommends consuming such products consciously and in smaller quantities.

In the “Chrut & Rüebli” podcast, we discuss animal welfare and sustainability topics in an appealing, but also critical manner. In this way, we encourage debate in society. Animal welfare and climate-friendly nutrition are also regularly addressed in our communication, for instance in the Migros magazine or on our social media channels.

Diversifying protein sources

We are actively promoting the development, production and sale of vegan meat substitutes. In doing so, we are indirectly promoting animal welfare through substitution. No animal has to be slaughtered for a vegan steak. By steadily expanding the V-Love range, we are creating innovative plant-based alternatives to meat, fish, egg and dairy products as well as snacks, confectionery and frozen products. Migros is assuming its responsibility to diversify protein sources and has set a corresponding goal in its sustainability strategy.

Migros’ commitment to cultured meat is also pioneering. Here we collaborate with Aleph Farms to drive forward the development and launch of lab-grown meat.

Goals

Animal welfare is firmly enshrined in our sustainability strategy. The M-Check ratings introduced in 2021 and drawn up by independent institutes are an important goal-setting tool in this respect.

The primary animal welfare-related element for our animal raw materials is the animal welfare M-Check, which assesses the welfare of broiler chickens, eggs (laying hens), turkeys, pigs, cattle, lambs, rabbits and horses on the basis of differentiated assessment grids. The more stars received on a scale from 1 (poor) to 5 (very good), the higher the animal welfare.

The criteria and assessments for the M-Check for animal welfare were defined by the School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL. As part of this, restrictive cages, housing without enhanced facilities, mutilations of all kinds, hormonal or antibiotic performance enhancers, long-distance transportation and other non-species-specific practices result in a low rating for all types of animals.

For fish (farmed and wild), the overall assessment of a product in the “fish from responsible sources” M-Check developed by our partner Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) includes the animal-welfare aspects of fish-stock health, the bycatch rate and the fishing method.

In addition, we aim to maintain close partnerships with label organisations that guarantee additional services relating to animal welfare. For example, animals raised in line with the IP-Suisse standard are always kept with more space, bedding and the potential to move about, as are animals raised in accordance with Bio Suisse guidelines. Migros and its partners agree upon binding annual quantities, thereby laying the foundation for animal-friendly production.

On certain topics, Migros also promotes defined goals of its partners and integrates them into its own approach, e.g. phasing out the killing of chicks. Migros has included and promoted “Respeggt” eggs (with in-ovo-sexing) and Demeter eggs raised with fellow cocks in its product range since 2020. Migros also supports the Bio Suisse goal of banning chick-killing for Bio Suisse eggs from 2026 onwards.

Spheres of influence

We are fundamentally committed to the animal welfare of all animals that form the basis of our meat, fish, milk and egg products. Specifically, these are: cattle (meat, milk), pigs, sheep, goats, broiler chickens, turkeys, laying hens, rabbits, horses and fish and seafood.

Most meat, fish and egg products are produced at Micarna and dairy products at ELSA. Both are Migros’ own companies, which allows us to exert direct influence. Depending on the value chain, Migros and its industrial companies can exert varying degrees of influence.

  • Broiler chickens

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    We have a direct influence on our Swiss poultry supply via the Migros industrial company Micarna, which has its own integrated value chain for broiler chickens, including a slaughterhouse.

    • Imported broiler chickens, turkeys and eggs

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      Where possible, we try to source imported chicken and turkey meat as well as imported eggs from responsible production systems.

      • Swiss cattle, pigs, lambs and rabbits

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        For Swiss cattle, pigs, lambs and rabbits, we work closely and in a binding manner with partners whose programmes guarantee these animals verified animal-welfare standards during both rearing and transportation. Animals are slaughtered with the utmost of care at the Migros Industrie business Micarna or at partner slaughterhouses with which we are in close contact.

        • Imported beef, pork, horse, rabbit and lamb

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          For our imported beef, pork, horse, rabbit and lamb meat, we have defined minimum requirements in the Migros raw-material strategy as well as added-value criteria for suppliers for individual programmes.

          • Fish

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            Up to now, little has been recorded regarding animal welfare for fish, especially non-farmed fish. That’s why we deliberately choose labels and countries of origin that have defined at least some requirements for fish welfare.

            • Non-food products

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              We have defined binding procurement principles for products such as leather, down and pelts, which apply to both our own brands and third-party brands.

              Principles

              What does animal welfare mean to us?

              For us, animal welfare means that the animal raw materials for our meat, fish, dairy, egg and non-food products come from healthy animals kept in species-appropriate conditions and provided with adequate feed. Vertebrates and birds are slaughtered gently at the end of their lives after short transportation, and fish are caught gently and stunned if possible.

              We base our activities on the internationally accepted animal-welfare concept known as the “Five provisions for promoting farm animal welfare”, a further development of the Five Freedoms concept. This demands not only good housing conditions, good health, good feed and the ability to engage in species-appropriate behaviour, but also positive mental experiences for farm animals.

              • Explicit bans

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                Our animal welfare policy includes clear exclusion criteria for all products of animal origin.

                • No cloning

                • No genetically-modified animals (genetic engineering)

                • No hormonal or antibiotic performance enhancers (for products originating in Switzerlandor elsewhere in Europe)

                • No slaughter without stunning

                • No prophylactic use of antibiotics (for products originating in Switzerland or elsewhere in Europe)

                • No cages for laying hens (for products originating in Switzerland or elsewhere in Europe)

                • No crate stalls for sows (for products originating in Switzerland or elsewhere in Europe)

                • No enclosures without retreat options for rabbits (for products originating in Switzerland or Hungary)

                • No permanent tethering of dairy cows (for products originating in Switzerland)

                • No beak-docking (for products originating in Switzerland or elsewhere in Europe)

                • No docking of pig tails or clipping of teeth in piglets (for products originating in Switzerland or Italy)

                • No killing of male egg-laying hen chicks (applies to organic products from 2026, with gradual implementation from 2024)

                • No killing of finfish or crustaceans without prior stunning (products originating in Switzerland)

                • Non-food bans

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                  • No live-plucked down, no plucking of force-fed animals.

                  • No leather products from endangered or illegally poached species.

                  • No products with hair from Angora rabbits.

                  • No real fur as per the Fur Free Retailer programme. The only exceptions are sheepskins and lambskins of international origin as well as rabbit skins from Switzerland – on condition that the animals were not kept exclusively for fur production.

                  • No wool products from mulesed sheep.

                  Anchoring within the company

                  All purchasers of products of animal origin are obliged to include the Migros goals on animal welfare and sustainability in all decisions on the product range.

                  Thanks to the high proportion of products coming from our Migros Industrie companies Micarna and ELSA, we can fulfil the majority of our standards directly. In so doing, we try to source raw materials domestically as far as possible, because Switzerland has significantly higher animal-welfare standards than abroad.

                  • Gentle production

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                    One special project is the construction of the Micarna poultry slaughterhouse, where the stunning of broiler chickens will in future be conducted using the new CAS method. Together with the low densities at Swiss broiler farms (which comply with the ECC), this enables more animal-friendly production along the entire supply chain.

                    • Animal welfare inspections in and outside Switzerland

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                      Migros benefits from strict animal welfare controls on farm animal husbandry in Switzerland. In addition to the basic and risk-based inspections carried out by cantonal veterinary authorities (cf. OCFI and official animal-welfare inspection manuals), the IP-Suisse and organic products sold at Migros are inspected annually by accredited monitoring institutes, often unannounced. We commission the Swiss Animal Protection Inspection Service to audit all of our own slaughterhouses and those of our partners in Switzerland, as well as the transportation of label animals.

                      Separate Migros Animal Welfare (MAW) programmes have been set up for imported horse meat, pork, rabbit meat, broiler chickens and turkeys to ensure that the animal husbandry in other European countries meets Switzerland’s strict animal-welfare standards. The MAW value chains for husbandry, transportation and slaughter are reviewed annually by the accredited inspection body, ProCert.

                      • Centres of Excellence for the Migros Group

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                        The Centre of Excellence for Meat + Egg Sustainability, which was founded in 2022, is available to the entire Migros Group for questions relating to animal husbandry, animal welfare and sustainability. The specialists at the centre of excellence also represent animal welfare and sustainability aspects during the development of raw-material strategies for Migros. Migros’ agricultural partner associations can also benefit from the technical support provided by these specialists, for example when developing animal husbandry guidelines or for animal-welfare or sustainability expertise for specific supply chains.

                        The Fish Score Centre of Excellence began its work for the Migros Group back 2021, providing internal and external advice on sustainability aspects of farmed and non-farmed fishery. The welfare of fish and seafood was added to the list of tasks addressed by the Fish Score Centre of Excellence as a new, still underdeveloped area.

                        • Research partnerships

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                          Migros wants to enhance animal welfare in the long term. It therefore
                          also supports research projects on increasing animal welfare. For example, together with the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), it conducted a large-scale project to study the effect of medicinal plants on piglets and calves. Migros is also currently supporting the FiBL on worm control for egg-laying hens. You can find out more about Migros’ commitment to research here.

                          Monitoring

                          All the strategic animal welfare and sustainability targets are part of a Group-wide annual controlling system. Progress is incorporated into Migros Group’s annual sustainability reports in line with the standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). In addition, Migros collects specific animal welfare KPIs.

                          The Micarna Group reports annually in the Vademecum on the percentage of meat and egg products that bear a label. In addition, Micarna reports in its own annual sustainability report, drawn up in line with the GRI standard (incl. the results of monitoring imported meat and eggs).

                          The results of slaughterhouse audits by Swiss Animal Protection are published on the website of the STS inspection service. Micarna receives the highest rating (A) in these audits.

                          Our contribution to animal welfare

                          Find out what we do to achieve the highest possible animal-welfare standards for all animals.

                          All Stories

                          More about animal welfare