American Humane Association, the first national humane organization and creators of the American Humane Certified program, the oldest and largest third-party farm animal welfare audit program in the country, is pleased to announce the appointment of two highly respected professors of animal science to its Humane Heartland Scientific Advisory Committee. Dr. Charles Hofacre, the Director of Clinical Services for the Department of Population Health at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine and Dr. Guy Loneragan, Professor of Food Safety and Public Health in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech University join a committee of world-renowned animal welfare experts who regularly review and update the American Humane Certified program’s science-based standards.
American Humane Association now certifies the humane treatment of nearly 1 billion farm animals, which represents about 10 percent of all animals raised for food on the country’s farms and ranches every year, including 90 percent of the cage-free egg production. Products bearing the American Humane Certified label signify that the animals were raised under science-based standards that provide good welfare and humane environments. And because of the number of animals in the American Humane Association’s farm audit program, it is now easier than ever for Americans to find meat, dairy, and eggs bearing this seal at their local retailers.
Dr. Hofacre is one of the most respected poultry scientists in the world, and has taught at the University of Georgia – where he previously received his Ph.D. – since 1998. Prior to that he worked as a manager of professional services for Bayer Animal Health’s Poultry Unit and as the Head of Veterinary Services for Ross Breeders, one of the world leaders in broiler breeding.
Dr. Loneragan excels in the field of animal and food safety, particularly in the study of Salmonella and other bacteria. He has taught at Texas Tech University since 2010 and prior to that taught at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in between two positions at West Texas A&M University. In addition to his role in academia, Dr. Loneragan serves on many other animal welfare committees, including McDonald’s Global Animal Health and Welfare Team (Antimicrobial Resistance Sub-Team), the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Salmonella Working Group and E.coli Working Group, among others.
“We are very honored that Drs. Hofacre and Loneragan have agreed to join our Humane Heartland Scientific Advisory Committee as they are two of the top minds in their respective fields,” said Kathi Brock, National Director of American Humane Association’s Humane Heartland Program. “They will join a committee of likeminded and notable experts in the field of farm animal welfare including Dr. Temple Grandin and poultry specialist Dr. Joy Mench and will work together to help ensure that our program remains the premier third-party animal welfare program in the nation.”
More and more Americans are demanding humanely raised options in their grocery store now more than ever, and a survey recently published by American Humane Association confirms this. The “Humane Heartland Farm Animal Welfare Survey” revealed that 89 percent of almost 3,000 Americans surveyed stated they were concerned about the welfare of animals raised on farms and ranches. In addition, when asked what factors were most important to them, a label indicating the animals were humanely raised was ranked as the highest in importance, over organic, natural, and antibiotic-free.
“Americans have a number of choices when deciding what to serve their family and friends, and we are proud to see that more and more of them are opting for humanely raised products because it is the right thing to do,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association President and CEO. “We look forward to working with Drs. Hofacre and Longeragan as we continue to grow our Humane Heartland Program, and in turn certifying the welfare of more animals and bringing more humane choices to Americans.”
For a full list of the certified producers, more information on all Humane Heartland Scientific Advisory Committee members, and for a download of the “Humane Heartland Farm Animal Welfare Survey,” please visit www.humaneheartland.org.
Source: American Humane Association