The Certified Humane® label assures consumers that the meat, poultry, egg, or dairy products they purchase have been produced according to HFAC's Animal Care Standards, which were developed by a 40-person scientific committee with expertise in farm animal welfare.
Under HFAC's standards, farmers must feed their turkeys nutritious diets without antibiotic, hormones, or animal by-products.
They must provide turkeys with proper shelter, resting areas and space sufficient to support the bird's natural behaviors, such as flapping wings and moving around freely. They must provide turkeys with environmental enrichments, like bales of straw or hay, so turkeys can perch above ground at night.
They must ensure turkeys receive fresh circulated air, which is monitored through bi-weekly air quality tests in barns, even though Certified Humane turkeys spend most of their time outside, depending on weather.
They must also give turkeys a minimum of eight hours of light and eight hours of darkness every day to maintain the bird's natural life cycles.
HFAC's standards are verified through inspections conducted by third-party farm animal welfare experts.
Currently, only three turkey producers in the U.S. meet the Certified Humane® label standards of care for their whole bird turkey products: White Oak Pastures, Ayrshire Farm, and Koch's Turkey.
"Very few turkey producers are willing to meet our standards," says Douglass. HFAC encourages consumers to push more turkey producers to meet higher welfare standards by visiting their Take Action page and taking the Turkey Request Form to meat managers at their local grocery stores.
To find stores that sell Certified Humane® turkeys and other products, visit Certified Humane's "Where to Buy" page at www.certifiedhumane.org or download their free Certified Humane® App for iPhone or Google Play for Android.
About Humane Farm Animal Care
Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) is the leading international nonprofit certification program improving the lives of millions of farm animals in food production. Since HFAC launched in May 2003, more than 110 companies, representing thousands of farms and millions of farm animals, have been certified. The Certified Humane® Raised and Handled® program is nationally recognized as the Gold Standard for certifying animal welfare from birth through slaughter and is endorsed by 66 humane organizations.
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SOURCE Humane Farm Animal Care