Target: Demaris Wilson, Acting Deputy Administrator for USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service
Goal: Ensure that farm animals are slaughtered in the most humane way possible, by adopting a uniform labeling standard indicating “Animal Welfare Approved.”
As we become more and more distanced from the origins of the food we eat, consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the welfare standards of the animal products they buy. A number of organizations have emerged offering welfare certification. Although this trend represents progress for animals, consumers are left confused about the different standards each organization requires for certification. Both farmers and consumers agree that a single set of standards is critical. Please tell the USDA to solely endorse Animal Welfare Approved, as it sets the highest standard for animal welfare of any humane labeling group.
The World Society for the Protection of Animals consistently ranks Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) as the program with the most rigorous set of standards. AWA requires all animals be raised on pasture or range. Not only does this allow animals to express natural behaviors, it also makes for healthier products. AWA solely awards certification to small farms, which encourages small-scale farming and stimulates local economies. Our environment also benefits by discouraging factory farming, an industry that is thought to play a significant part in global warming.
AWA is the only organization that does not charge a fee to farmers to be members. This means the organization is free to make unbiased decisions about the welfare of animals on participating farms. This transparency is beneficial to both the farmer and the consumer: it supports the farmer’s practices and provides assurance to the customer that the products are of the highest quality.
The many labels that have emerged represent progress for animal welfare, but consumers are unclear about which label means what. Tell the USDA to endorse Animal Welfare Approved so farm animals can be provided the best care possible, and consumers can be assured the animal products they are consuming are both healthy and humane.
Dear Mr. Wilson,
Consumers are placing an unprecedented emphasis on humane standards for food products derived from farm animals. In response, various certification organizations have emerged, but both farmers and consumers agree that a single authority on welfare standards is critical. Please endorse Animal Welfare Approved, the organization that sets the bar for animal welfare standards.
Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) is consistently ranked as having the most rigorous standards for animal welfare by the World Society for the Protection of Animals. Under their standards, animals must live on rangeland or pasture. This allows the animal to express its natural behavior, which in turn makes for a more wholesome food product. AWA also solely endorses family farms, which would stimulate local economies by encouraging small farm businesses. Promoting family farms would also help reduce the negative impact factory farming has on our ecosystem.
In an age of information overload, both farmers and consumers need a single set of standards to adhere to. Please endorse the toughest authority for humane labeling, Animal Welfare Approved.
[Your Name Here]