Stronger Humane Farming Standards Announced

(Herndon, VA, U.S.A., March 21, 2012) – Humane Farm Animal Care® (HFAC), the nation’s leading non-profit certification organization improving the lives of farm animals in food production, announced today the release of their revised standards which include a provision of pain control for all beef cattle and dairy cows undergoing routine but often painful husbandry procedures.   

The new pain management requirements are an outgrowth of HFAC’s ongoing commitment to continuous review and enhancement of farm animal welfare standards that benefit millions of farm animals raised under these standards and certified under the Certified Humane® program. HFAC standards govern all aspects of farm animal care, ranging from providing the highest quality nutrition to maintaining a healthy environment that allows animals to express natural behaviors.  

HFAC is the only national animal welfare organization to make pain control a key component of farm animal care certification standards. The new requirements were developed after a lengthy research evaluation by HFAC’s scientific committee.  Final approval of the new standards was given by the HFAC Board of Directors, whose membership includes Ed Sayres, President and CEO of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Reflecting on the standards, ASPCA’s Sayres said:  “Once again, Certified Humane® is tackling the big issues and helping to redefine what it means to promote animal welfare, especially the humane treatment of farm animals.”

The revised standards were published on January 1, 2012 and have been in effect since then.  HFAC staff has been working to educate farmers and ranchers on how to implement the new standards.
HFAC Founder and Chief Executive Officer Adele Douglas said: “For many years we worked with our farmers and ranchers to identify practical ways to reduce the stress and sometimes pain beef cattle and dairy cows experience after routine husbandry practices such as castration.  We are constantly working to identify science-based approaches that can enhance the lives of farm animals.  When we learned of new, safer and easier to administer methods of providing animals with needed analgesia, it was important to integrate them into the HFAC standards. Our commitment is to maintain the nation’s strongest farm animal welfare standards, and the introduction of new pain control requirements illustrates that fact.”
The revised Beef and Dairy standards also clarify the importance of maintaining safe and humane conditions in the transportation of animals and prohibit the use of genetically modified or cloned animals.  The revisions also incorporate a series of scientific appendices that provide information critical to the needs of farmers in areas such as temperature/humidity indexes, methods of weaning, lameness scoring for dairy cows and body condition scoring.   

All HFAC Animal Care standards are available to the public for review at: {cms_selflink page=’alias’ text=’’}

Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of farm animals by certifying their humane treatment.  Supported by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and more than 38 humane organizations, the Certified Humane Raised and Handled® program is nationally recognized as the Gold Standard for certifying animal welfare from birth through slaughter.  Since the program was unveiled in May 2003, more than 85 companies, representing thousands of farms and millions of farm animals, have been certified.  Certified Humane products can be found in over 6000 mainstream supermarkets across the US.   
HFAC’s Animal Care Standards were developed by a veritable “Who’s Who” of national and international animal scientists and farm-animal welfare experts. Producer compliance with the HFAC standards is verified through annual on-site visits by HFAC’s third-party inspectors who are each nationally trained experts in animal behavior and welfare.
For additional information visit HFAC’s Website at, {cms_selflink page=’home’ text=’’}