High-welfare Programme Now Covers One Billion Farm Animals13 September 2013
US - The American Humane Certified™ programme ensures humane treatment of almost 10 per cent of animals on nation's farms and ranches.
At the inaugural Be Humane summit on 12 September, American Humane Association, the first national humane organisation, announced that it now certifies the welfare of nearly one billion farm animals in the United States. This landmark announcement means the organisation's American Humane Certified™ programme oversees the humane treatment of almost 10 per cent of all animals raised on America's farms and ranches each year in food production.
An agreement with a soon-to-be announced major producer has ensured that America's oldest farm animal welfare certification program will continue to be not only the largest, but the fastest-growing effort of its kind in the world.
"Every year, 10 billion animals are raised for food on America's farms and ranches, and all animals deserve to be treated humanely," said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association's president and CEO. "Yet 90 per cent of them still do not live under scientifically-based welfare standards in independently-verified living conditions. We are proud to now certify the welfare of nearly one billion of these animals, and we will continue to work hard to educate producers, retailers, and consumers about the benefits of third-party welfare audits."
American Humane Association will soon publish the 'Humane Heartland™ Farm Animal Welfare Survey'. A key finding in the research is that 89 per cent of almost 3,000 Americans surveyed stated they were concerned about the welfare of animals raised on farms and ranches. In addition, when asked what factors were most important to them, a label indicating the animals were humanely raised was ranked as the highest in importance, over organic, natural, and antibiotic-free.
The American Humane Certified™ programme employs ethical, science-based and veterinary-backed standards validated by world-renowned animal welfare experts and advocates such as Dr Temple Grandin and poultry specialist Dr Joy Mench, who serve on the organisation's Scientific Advisory Committee.
Programme standards and audit criteria assess humane treatment, ensuring comfortable living conditions and greater accountability. Program standards are built on the internationally accepted values of the Five Freedoms, as adopted by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst
- Freedom from discomfort
- Freedom from pain, injury, disease
- Freedom to express normal behaviors
- Freedom from fear and distress
The "Humane Heartland™ Farm Animal Welfare Survey" will be available for download on www.americanhumane.org.
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