12 Sep, 2013, 06:56 ET
American Humane Certified™ program now ensures humane treatment of almost 10 percent of animals on nation's farms and ranches; organization also publishes new survey regarding Americans' attitudes about farm animal welfare
ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today at the inaugural Be Humane summit, American Humane Association, the first national humane organization, announced that it now certifies the welfare of nearly 1 billion farm animals in the United States. This landmark announcement means the organization's American Humane Certified™ program oversees the humane treatment of almost 10 percent 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 percent 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 1 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."
Tomorrow, American Humane Association will publish the "Humane Heartland™ Farm Animal Welfare Survey." A key finding in the research is that 89 percent 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™ program 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 organization's Scientific Advisory Committee. Program 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 Friday September 13 at www.americanhumane.org.
About American Humane Association
American Humane Association is the country's first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we're also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.
SOURCE American Humane Association
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