Is the label verified?
Yes
Is the meaning of the label consistent?
Yes
Are the label standards publicly available?
Yes
Is information about the organization publicly available?
Yes
Is the organization free from conflict of interest?
Yes
Was the label developed with broad public and industry input?
Partially

This label can be found on: Beef, chicken, eggs, dairy (including cow, sheep and goat dairy), goat, pork, sheep, turkey

ORGANIZATION: Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC)

url: http://certifiedhumane.org

LABEL STANDARDShttp://certifiedhumane.org/how-we-work/our-standards/

 

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What this label means

This label means that the animals were raised on farms that met the farm animal welfare standards of Humane Farm Animal Care, an organization that says it is dedicated to “improving the lives of farm animals in food production from birth to slaughter,” and that it does so by “driving consumer demand for kinder and more responsible farm animal practices.”

The organization says its standards assure consumers that meat, poultry, egg and dairy products come from animals that “are never kept in cages, crates or tie stalls;” have the freedom to do what comes naturally; have been been fed a diet of “quality feed, without animal by-products, antibiotics or growth hormones;” and are slaughtered in accordance with American Meat Institute slaughter standards.

In our analysis, we found that the standards assure that most of these goals are met. Chickens and pigs have to be provided with materials, such as clean, dry litter, perches, and straw, to engage in natural behaviors. Small cages that do not allow the animals to turn around are prohibited. However, some farming practices that consumers expect from a “humanely raised” label are not required to be accommodated, like access to the outdoors and fresh air for chickens and pigs, which can be continually confined indoors with no requirement for natural light in the building and ammonia levels that can rise as high as 25 ppm. Indoor space requirements for chickens only slightly exceed the industry norm, while indoor space requirements for pigs are the same as the industry norm. Beef cattle can be finished in a feedlot, although standards aim to improve the living conditions in the feedlot. While the standards prohibit many physical alterations, like routine tail docking of pigs, others are allowed, like beak trimming of laying hens.

A closer look at the standards for broilers (chicken) 

Indoor space per bird
Clean litter
Indoor air / Ammonia levels
Lighting
Indoor environmental enrichment
Outdoor access
Genetics and better breeds / limit on fast growth
Slaughter

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A closer look at the standards for laying hens (eggs) 

Cages
Indoor space per bird
Clean litter
Indoor air / Ammonia levels

Lighting
Indoor environmental enrichment
Outdoor access
Beak trimming

 

A closer look at the standards for pigs (pork)

Indoor space per growing pig
Crates for gestating and farrowing sows
Clean bedding
Indoor air / ammonia levels
Indoor environmental enrichment
Outdoor access
Physical alterations
Slaughter

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A closer look at the standards for cattle (beef)

Pasture
Pain relief during castration
Hot iron branding

Disbudding
Slaughter

A closer look at the standards for: 

 

Antibiotic use
Drugs for growth promotion
Animal by-products in feed
GMOs in feed

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How meaningful is this label? 

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Is the label verified?
Is the meaning of the label consistent?
Are the label standards publicly available?
Is information about the organization publicly available?
Is the organization free from conflict of interest?
Was the label developed with broad public and industry input?