WASHINGTON (PRNewswire-USNewswire) — With the holiday season soon to be in full swing, families and friends will come together to break bread, and almost as important as the company sitting around the table is the food that will be served. American Humane Association, the first national humane organization and originators of the oldest and largest third party farm animal welfare certification program in the country, urges all Americans to serve a humane table this holiday season.
American Humane Association now certifies the humane treatment of nearly 1 billion farm animals, which represents 10 percent of all animals raised for food on the country's farms and ranches every year. Products bearing the American Humane Certified™ label signify that the animals were raised under science-based standards that provide good welfare and humane environments. This is not only good for the animals, it is good for people, with better-tasting and more nutritious products. And because of the number of animals in the American Humane Association's farm audit program, it is now easier than ever for Americans to find meat, dairy, and eggs bearing this seal at their local retailers.
Turkey is the centerpiece of nearly every American Thanksgiving table, and American Humane Association is pleased to announce that Butterball, the largest producer of turkey products in the United States, now bears the American Humane Certified™ label on all of its fresh, whole turkeys. The company intends to incorporate the seal onto its frozen whole turkey packaging and other products in 2014. Another producer whose turkeys meet American Humane Association's rigorous standards for welfare is Illinois-based Caveny Farm, famous for its naturally-raised Bourbon Red heritage turkeys. Butterball turkeys can be found at most major grocery stores nationwide while Caveny Farm turkeys can be ordered online at www.cavenyfarm.com.
Though turkey is the mainstay protein throughout the holiday season, American Humane Association also certifies producers that raise beef, chicken, and pork products.
No holiday table is complete without sides and dessert, and producers certified by American Humane Association are there to provide choices for consumers. Many stuffings and desserts call for eggs and American Humane Association is proud to certify more than 90 percent of all cage-free egg production in the United States, with these eggs found at most major national retailers. Mashed potatoes would not be the same without milk and butter, and a number of dairy farms around the country have made the humane choice to have their facilities certified by American Humane Association's standards.
It is clear that Americans are demanding humanely raised options in their grocery store now more than ever, and a survey recently published by American Humane Association confirms this. The "Humane Heartland™ Farm Animal Welfare Survey" revealed 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.
"Americans have a number of choices when deciding what to serve their family and friends at the holidays, and we are proud to see that more and more of them are opting for humanely raised products because it is the right thing to do," said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association President and CEO. "While we know the decision to consume animal products is a personal one, we do recognize that millions of Americans will consume meat, dairy, and eggs during the holiday season, and we urge them to consider products with our American Humane Certified™ seal, because they will be celebrating what it means to be humane.
"This holiday season, be a Humane Hero for America's farm animals and the guests you're serving."
The American Humane Certified™ program employs ethical, science-based standards, which are regularly reviewed and updated 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. The program standards and audit criteria ensure that the environmental, nutritional, behavioral, and health needs of animals are addressed and met, and are based on the internationally accepted values of the Five Freedoms.
- Freedom from hunger and thirst
- Freedom from discomfort
- Freedom from pain, injury, disease
- Freedom to express normal behaviors
- Freedom from fear and distress
For a full list of the certified producers and their products and for a download of the "Humane Heartland™ Farm Animal Welfare Survey," please visit www.humaneheartland.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.