The Humane Farm Animal Care group will launch a new “Certified Humane Raised and Handled” label for food packaging to assure consumers “that meat, poultry, egg or dairy products come from animals raised at facilities meeting precise, objective and humane standards for farm animal treatment”, according to a press release.

The group is supported by a coalition that includes the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and The Humane Society of the United States, as well as a number of regional and local organizations. The coalition has unveiled a Web site at www.CertifiedHumane.com

In addition to adhering to the American Meat Institute standards producers and processors must meet a set of standards to qualify for the label that include:

  •   sufficient space, shelter and company of same-species animals to limit stress
  •   thorough disease prevention
  • good nutrition, including ready access to fresh water and a diet that maintains full health and vigor
  • Growth hormones are prohibited and animals must be fed antibiotic-free feed.

Participating farmers and ranchers must pass an initial inspection as well as annual re-inspection to remain part of the program. To further compliance, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Services verifies the inspection process.

Initial producers certified to display the “Certified Humane” label include: Echo Farms Dairy, Touchstone Farms Sheep and Lamb, Deer Creek Beef, DuBreton Natural Pork and Hedgeapple Farms Beef.

Humane Society of the United States