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Animal Welfare Award 2023

Animal Welfare Award (AWA)2023 Announced!

Companies that have contributed to the spread of animal welfare

The Animal Welfare Award (AWA) is an annual* award to express our gratitude to companies that have made animal welfare efforts with animals in mind in Japan, a country that lags behind the rest of the world in animal welfare for livestock and aquatic animals.


We evaluated initiatives that we believe had the greatest possible impact from the perspective of the Animal Rights Center Japan, which is involved in activities to protect farm animals in Japan.


*April 2022 – March 2023



Choubunsha Corporation

In December 2022, Choubunsha  published the children’s book “Someday Under the Sky, Sakura-scholol Hikari Newspaper” (written by Naoko Hori/ pictures by Awai). This book was a deeply informative and moving work about the animal welfare of egg-laying hens. The book is now being distributed in public libraries and other places throughout Japan, and would be a solution to the animal welfare issue that is facing recognition.


We commended the author for having the courage to publish this work, which is the first book in the field of children’s books to express the hidden realities of raising egg-laying hens.

Sanwa Shokukei Corporation

Sanwa Shokukei is an adult (egg-laying) poultry slaughterhouse located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.After discussions with the Animal Rights Center Japan in 2019, the company began educating and improving employee awareness, reducing the percentage “red-skins” to one-tenth and the percentage of dead chickens on arrival to one-ninth.


We commended the company for showing that improvements are possible in Japan and substantially reducing the suffering of the chickens through the awareness-raising method of having management be proactive about animal welfare and having employees think for themselves.



Nissui Corporation

Nissui  Co. was the first company to publicize its animal welfare efforts in the fish sector, the main area of its business. It has announced that it has pre-stunned 96% of its farmed fish and that it is considering improvements in this area. This is an important step forward in the lack of progress in animal welfare for farmed fish in Japan.


We commended the company for being one of the first to address animal welfare in the domestic aquaculture industry and to publicize the details of its efforts.



Co-op Shizenha

Co-op Shizenha has frequently communicated its gestation stall-free program to its members and the public through dedicated flyers, articles, catalogs, etc. In fact, most of the pork they procure is are gestation stall-free, and they have been working with the producer Shichisei Foods Corporation to  convert them to freestalls.

We appreciated their proactive efforts to create an ideal cycle of supporting the good efforts of producers while creating their own demand.

Animal Welfare is a Key Corporate Agenda in Japan

First of all, we are very pleased to be able to present the Fish Prize for the first time.

In FY2022, we really engaged in a dialogue with many companies. While this engagement may not lead to immediate results, the seeds of animal welfare are beginning to grow in many of the companies we have interacted with.

Among those that did not win awards, some of the large companies’ initiatives were on the chopping block for consideration, such as McDonald’s Japan’s inclusion of chicken in its integrated report, Toridoll Holdings’ policy on pig gestation stalls, and Kewpie’s launch of HOBOTAMA on the market. However, we do not believe that there were many examples in FY2022 that had impact and could be commended. This is because companies did not disclose information, even though they were promoting the project privately.

Companies need to transform animal welfare into corporate value and prepare for the investment that will come one day. In addition, animal welfare is becoming an increasingly important part of the ESG investment agenda. Under such circumstances, Japanese companies without visible policies, goals, and initiatives will always be rated low. Whether it is 1% or 10%, the effort will be evaluated by understanding the current status and disclosing it to the public. In fact, they must be aware that announcing when they have reached 100% does not create any value for either the company or society. Public disclosure of the current status, goals, and the process toward them is the key to solving social issues.

We hope that in FY2023, we will be able to see what companies are doing.

Finally, we would like to thank all the companies that have considered and acted to raise animal welfare.

Please note that we will contact the winning companies again to thank them for commitment to animal welfare.