American Humane Association, the country's first national humane organization and creator of the first and largest third-party farm animal welfare certification program, announced today that U.S.-based pork producer Scandinavian Meat Masters has met its rigorous farm animal welfare standards and achieved certification through the American Humane Certified™ program. Scandinavian Meat Masters is supplying pork to two of its customers, Pederson's Natural Farms and McKenzie Natural Artisan Deli, and their products bearing the American Humane Certified label will be available in the U.S. market beginning January 2016.
Scandinavian Meat Masters has partnered with a 5,000-sow farm to produce 7 million pounds of humanely raised pork annually. In addition to meeting the American Humane Certified program's rigorous standards for farm animal welfare, Scandinavian Meat Masters is Non-GMO Project Verified and the first and only pork producer to achieve both certifications.
"The meat industry is a very traditional industry and traditional industries don't change unless they are forced to do so," said Mika Manninen, co-founder of Scandinavian Meat Masters. "The need for transparency and humane treatment of farm animals is here and will continue to grow."
American Humane Association's most recent survey shows overwhelming popular support for the humane treatment of farm animals. Its Humane Heartland™ Farm Animal Surveypolled 5,900 Americans and more than nine in ten (94.9%) said they are "very concerned" about farm animal welfare, up from 89 percent in American Humane Association's 2013 study. More than three-quarters (75.7%) stated that they are very willing to pay more for humanely raised eggs, meat, and dairy products, up from 74 percent in 2013.
Scandinavian Meat Masters relied on the expertise of American Humane Association to provide oversight of the audits of the farms. "American Humane Association operates under protocols and standards based on science and practical applications," Manninen said. "Having gone through its third-party audit process, I can vouch they are serious and thorough."
"We are pleased that Scandinavian Meat Masters has made the humane choice and achieved certification through our American Humane Certified program," said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association's president and CEO. "There are 10 billion animals raised on the nation's farms and ranches each year, and more and more Americans are demanding humanely raised foods because it's the right thing to do."
American Humane Association was founded around the issue of farm animal welfare in 1877 and has been at the forefront of improvements and protections for children, pets and farm animals for 138 years (see historic timeline). With a history of working positively and collaboratively with farmers, ranchers, animal advocates and the American public to create moderate, mainstream and commonsense solutions that work for both animals and people, in 2000 American Humane Association created the nation's first third-party farm animal welfare certification and auditing program with more than 200 science-based standards covering everything from adequate space to air quality, heat and lighting, humane treatment, and the ability for animals to be animals and express the natural behaviors of their kind. These standards for the resulting American Humane Certified program were built upon the internationally accepted values of the Five Freedoms, created by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, as well as input from animal science experts, veterinarians and other animal husbandry specialists. These evidence-based standards are reviewed regularly by a Scientific Advisory Committee made up of some of the world's leading experts and animal advocates.
Source: American Humane Association