If you eat animal products, there are steps you can take to ensure that animals are raised in a more natural, humane setting than current factory farm standards.
These programs certify products that meet certain standards for farm animal treatment developed by each program. These standards are verified by third-party visits to the facilities, and are considered some of the best programs for animal welfare.
There are also many other certifications and labels for animal products; however, each program has different standards and guidelines and different implications for animal welfare. We encourage you to research what each certification means and make informed choices.
The Certified Humane Raised & Handled Label is a consumer certification and labeling program.When you see the Certified Humane Raised & Handled label it means that an egg, dairy, meat or poultry product has been produced with the welfare of the farm animal in mind. Food products that carry the label are certified to have come from facilities that meet precise, objective standards for farm animal treatment.
Animal Welfare Approved is a seal for meat, poultry, dairy and eggs that features the highest standards for the humane treatment of farm animals. More than 500 farms comply with these standards, which provide consumers, grocers, chefs and other food buyers a comprehensive seal that differentiates between more humane farms and the agribusinesses that subject animals to cruel and unnatural conditions. The standards take into account all aspects of an animal’s life, from opportunities to socialize and behave naturally to assurances of comfort and freedom from intensive confinement.
Global Animal Partnership is a nonprofit charitable organization founded in 2008 that brings together farmers, scientists, ranchers, retailers, and animal advocates with the common goal of improving animal welfare in agriculture. Their signature program is a 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standard that recognizes and rewards producers for their welfare practices, promotes and facilitates continuous improvement, and better informs consumers about the production systems they choose to support. To date, over 4,000 operations, raising more than 290 million animals annually, have been audited and certified to the higher welfare Step standards by independent, third-party certification companies. The 5-Step rating is used by Whole Foods.