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certified humane vs animal welfare approved

To be considered Certified Organic, farms must comply with a set of objective, publicly available standards, and must undergo ongoing audits to ensure the standards are being met. The “organic” certification goes further in this respect, and requires that feed must be organic as well – meaning that it was produced without the use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or synthetic fertilizers. However, it’s important to know that these two labels aren’t the same when it comes to the welfare of the farm animals involved. Still, animal welfare retains some relevance for these labels: Lastly, there are labels you should avoid that are meaningless or misleading with regards to animal welfare. Contact Us While there are half a million labels I could discuss, I will be focusing on animal welfare certifications. The USDA Organic program lists some general provisions for welfare; however, the few provisions provided are vague and open to much interpretation. If you see a product that is labelled organic, you can rest assured that the farm animal consumed a higher quality of feed, but unfortunately you cannot assume it received humane care. There’s also the Global Animal Partnership, though they don’t yet have the cachet of the big boys. With certified GAP products ranging from Levels 3 through 5, it processes over 500,000 chickens every week, holding around 20,000 birds on site. Increased coverage of factory farms by the media and filmmakers has exposed the deplorable conditions in which animals are raised on industrial farms. This article should cover the basics for you. Let’s clear up the confusion, and walk through the main similarities and differences between the two certifications. Nowadays, most if not all of our packaged food is stamped with some sort of label or another. Animals should be raised to be healthy and productive with good quality feed, water, and shelter. For GAP, there are three components that contribute to good animal welfare: the animal’s health and ability to produce, natural living, and emotional wellbeing. Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) focuses on pasture-raised farms while Certified Humane covers enriched indoor and free-range/pasture-based farms. Certified Humane is Burger King. So, what of the farms that are GAP certified? Eventually, these labels start to blur into random little pictures making broad claims that the product is gluten free, or vegetarian, or vegan, or that the meat used is certified, with no added hormones or antibiotics, or that the animals used were treated humanely, and on and on. There are plenty of deceptively alluring certifications that promise humane treatment and proper animal welfare without truly meeting these claims. The USDA organic standards also do not address critical welfare issues such as acceptable minimum space requirements, cruel body alterations such as debeaking and tail docking, and do not address the significant welfare issues associated with transportation and slaughter. As is evident, the higher the number, the more closely the animal’s farm environment mirrors that of its natural one. Shipping & Returns, Store Locator Appropriate certification levels are assigned to each respective farm, which in turn must be audited every 15 months in order to remain certified. Rustic Blend Wet Cat Food Ancient Grains Dry Dog Food All three certifications have high quality, science-based standards and a strong compliance process to support them. Their Farm Animal Welfare Team is composed of research scientists with backgrounds in animal husbandry and production farming. The results of the GAP certification appear to be pretty rewarding, with increased sales, greater product differentiation (boy, does that fine certification come in handy for marketing! If this were our educational system, one can only imagine the number of false claims that would be made, and the resulting confusion among universities when trying to evaluate the academic achievements of prospective students. What was their motivation behind becoming certified and their journey throughout the process? Without it, Mary’s would not be able to retain the partnership with Whole Foods. FAQ These eye opening accounts have created a new, savvy consumer who is looking for a better quality of meat for themselves and their families. These labels are often stamped onto the front of products solely for marketing purposes: Alright, we have gotten through the basics. Certified Humane. If you’re looking for products that you can feel confident were humanely raised, look for a certification from a credible, independent third party specializing in humane farming. Transition to Open Farm GAP also partners with a Scientific Advisory Committee that ensures that their standards are based in the most recent research in animal science. Similar to other programs, this certification is based on audit compliance with comprehensive standards. Let’s clear up the confusion, and walk through the main similarities and differences between the two certifications. The top rated “humane” labels are (a) Certified Humane®, (b) Global Animal Partnership and (c) Animal Welfare Approved. Similarly, the “organic” certification is overseen by the US and Canadian governments through the USDA and CFIA, respectively. Additionally, a trickle-down effect is produced for animal welfare; as Mary’s expanded their operations and sources, each of their partner farms had to receive GAP certifications as well! Gives information about the American Humane certification program for animal production facilities.

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