The Certified Humane Raised and Handled label is meaningful and verified. The standards behind the label require improvements to the industry norm in how farm animals are raised; for example, there are requirements for clean litter in chicken houses, bedding for pigs, and environmental enrichment for chickens and pigs. However, we do not rate Certified Humane as a highly meaningful label for animal welfare, because the standards do not have certain requirements that a majority of consumers expect from a “humanely raised” label, such as access to the outdoors.
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?
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)
LABEL STANDARDS: http://certifiedhumane.org/how-we-work/our-standards/
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)
A closer look at the standards for laying hens (eggs)
A closer look at the standards for pigs (pork)
A closer look at the standards for cattle (beef)
A closer look at the standards for: