Certified Humane Raised and Handled
Certified Humane is a 501c3 Non Profit organization who’s goal is to support the Humane treatment of animals from birth to death. This is an all encompassing certification program that includes feed, housing, & slaughter. They also make the claim that they are the only “animal welfare label requiring the humane treatment of farm animals from birth through slaughter.”
I will post a summary of what a Certified Humane food implies, but if you are curious for more information I encourage you to look at their website. They include a huge amount of information that is not always available on Farming websites.
Another positive about Certified Humane is their public visibility and thus accountability. For every animal-type standard, they list the people that developed the standard. This makes it easy to contact someone if you have a question or disagreement and don’t want to contact Certified Humane directly. It took me maybe 2 minutes to find contact information for the local “R. Newberry PHD, Associate Professor, Washington State University”. On Ms. Newberry, she is listed as an Associate Professor for the “Center for the Study of Animal Well-being”; an applicable contact in my opinion.
One potential downfall to Certified Humane is the generality of many of their standards. Terms like “must be considered” or “appropriate” rather than listing specifics. I do not personally view this as a downfall however, these are general guidelines that give freedom to the farmer to do what he considers best for his animals, as well as freedom for Certified Humane to question the farmer’s standards. Worst case scenario, Certified Humane removes their certification. When freedom is allowed, good things happen. There is no real reason to be horribly strict on many things such as feed types, amounts, or water conditions; as long as those conditions are “considered” and handled “appropriately” for the general animal welfare. Nature is too varied to be kept under strict conditions. And we view that as a good thing.
- Certified Humane has pages of specific rules and guidelines for Beef Cattle, Dairy Cattle, Young Dairy Beef, Broiler Hens, Egg Hens, Goats, Pigs, Sheep and Turkeys.
- In general, they all have the same requirements.
- Freedom to move (decent square footage)
- Freedom to eat and drink (clean sources, no stale food, no contaminated water)
- Healthy environments (specifics listed for pastured and indoor)
- No antibiotics (administered only for “therapeutic reasons” and only by a Veternarian)
- Humane slaughter required