Tyson, the country’s largest meat processor, has decided to expand its animal welfare in­­spection requirements to farmers who supply cattle and chickens.

A Tyson manager told Iowa cattle producers recently that they must meet the requirements next year if they want to sell to Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson. In October 2012, Tyson announced it would be requiring audits on hog farms that sold pork to its plants and said it would expand the program to include chicken and cattle farms by January 2014.

Tyson beef supply chain manager Lora Wright told cattle farmers that the treatment guidelines are being driven by Tyson customers that include McDonald’s and Whole Foods. A third-party auditor will visit farms to ensure compliance.

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Assoc­iation (ICA) recently adopted policy that said the...