American Humane Creates Web Site for Farm Animal Welfare Certification Program

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American Humane Creates Web Site for Farm Animal Welfare Certification Program

The American Humane Association has introduced Website as a way to teach consumers, consumers, producers, retailers and the foodservice industry to learn more about the humane treatment of farm animals used to produce food. Launched earlier this month, the site was designed to be a resource to learn more about animal welfare standards, particularly those of American Humane Certified, a program created in 2000 by the Denver-based nonprofit.

A voluntary, fee-based service available to agricultural producers of protein products, American Humane Certified provides independent, third-party audited verification that the care and handling of animals of enrolled farms meet its stringent animal welfare standards. Producers that meet the standards are permitted to use the American Humane Certified label on their products.

All producers certified by the program meet basic criteria that requires animals have clean, sufficient food and water; live in a humane environment under conditions and care that limit stress; can express normal behaviors and live in an appropriate, comfortable environment that offers sufficient space, shelter, a resting area, and company of their own species; and lead a healthy life, benefiting from prevention of disease and injury, and rapid diagnosis and treatment.

According to a 2007 survey for American Humane Certified, conducted by the independent Public Opinion Strategies organization, 58 percent of consumers said they would spend an additional 10 percent or more for meat, poultry, eggs, or dairy items labeled "humanely raised." The same consumer group ranked the humane label as most important, even above organic or natural labels.

The site features information for consumers, grocers and producers, as well as providing a secure Certified producer's section with auditing and management tools. Visitors can find out about American Humane Certified producers, their unique operations, and their dedication to animal welfare. Additionally, the site instructs users where to buy products certified by American Humane as well as offering information on upcoming trade and consumer events that will feature the program.