Friday, February 13, 2009

New Sustainable and Humane Food-Animal Certification Underway

A long-time fixture within the animal-handling issue, Temple Grandin, is launching a new certification program to evaluate both sustainable and humane practices of a food-animal production system. The Colorado State University researcher and animal-handling expert worked with Niman Ranch to develop the program. Starting in August, producers or companies that wish to be certified will be audited on 21 core principles. In the case of a multiple-producer company, all farmers and ranchers must receive certification. There will be a certification seal associated with the audits. The 21 core principles include: * Animals must be given the opportunity to care for, interact with, and nurture their young. In the case of swine, farrowing crates are not allowed. * Practices must be implemented that prevent soil loss or degradation in production areas; minimize unacceptable or unintended poor air quality for family, workers and neighbors; and prevent water quality degradation of surface and groundwater resources. * Animals must be fed a 100 percent vegetarian diet. There must be a feeding plan that will guarantee a sufficient, well-balanced diet to appropriately meet the animals' nutritional needs at their stage in life and maintain required body condition scores. Animals shall have access to feed as long as is necessary for them to satisfy their nutrient requirements...Pork Magazine

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