American Humane(R) Certified Conducts Inaugural Humane Farm Training for Animal Handlers in Maine
DENVER, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 30 animal handlers and state animal welfare agents in Winthrop, Maine, made industry history today when they successfully completed the first on-site Humane Farm Training course created and conducted by American Humane(R) Certified. American Humane Certified, the farm animal program originated by the American Humane Association, is the nation's pre-eminent and fastest-growing monitoring, auditing and labeling program that attests to the humane care and handling of animals raised for food.
"The stockmen -- or animal handlers -- are a crucial link in the chain of ensuring improved animal care and welfare," said Tim Amlaw, director of American Humane Certified. "Increased knowledge, coupled with healthy, humane
attitudes and behaviors, creates a significantly more positive dynamic for those workers and the animals themselves, as well as for the public perception of the food industry overall."
The graduates of the training program included humane animal welfare agents and workers from the state of Maine and Radlo Foods, one of the largest egg suppliers in New England.
Ned Porter, deputy commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture, awarded certificates to program participants. "We are pleased that a Maine company was selected as the first to receive this training," said Porter.
"It's great that we have folks in the industry who now have a better understanding of animal welfare issues, which are important to many consumers, and to have training provided by the American Humane Association, which has so many years of experience working with agriculture."
"Educating our employees in the proper care and handling of our laying hens is an important step to complement and expand our commitment to animal welfare," said David Radlo, president of Radlo Foods. "The need for training and the development of experienced workers is key to our operations and paramount for the welfare of our animals."
Some of Radlo's egg production is already cage free and is American Humane Certified. The training program was conducted for workers in cage-free and caged operations.
"Working with American Humane on their first humane handler training will improve the practices on the farms for the betterment of the workers and the animals. This is a tremendous step forward in creating a new standard for
animal welfare practices," said Bill Bell, executive director of New England Brown Egg Council.
American Humane Certified does not certify caged egg-laying operations, but it does offer its new Humane Farm Training program to any food producer as one way of meeting the food industry's call for better-trained animal handlers, as well as assuring consumers that food animals are humanely raised. The training program's curriculum, whose initial development was first announced in March 2009, focuses on best practices and the science-based standards originated by American Humane Certified and its Scientific Advisory Committee.
Humane Farm Training includes early recognition of behavior or health problems that could be detrimental to the individual animal or the entire flock or herd. It addresses animal-welfare issues and poor animal husbandry that are
created by a lack of worker/handler knowledge. Workers are tested at the end of the training and receive certificates upon successful completion. The program instructors are animal science professionals who provide on-site demonstrations and guidance in appropriate handling and treatment, whether in the barn or in the field.
"Inexperienced workers with a significant lack of knowledge of basic, good animal handling and husbandry practices, plus strong requests from the industry, prompted us to develop this very first, comprehensive, independent program," noted Amlaw. "And it comes from the credible, humane and historic leader in farm animal welfare in the United States." The program will also be available online later this year.
Radlo is committed to converting all egg production operations to new sustainable laying systems that are good for laying hens, consistent with American Humane Certified standards, as well as good for people and good for
farmers. This will be achieved in part by providing Humane Farm Training to all workers and installing video monitoring equipment for observation and oversight of humane best practices in the facilities.
About American Humane(R) Certified
American Humane Certified is the United States' first animal welfare program dedicated to the humane treatment of farm animals. It is the fastest-growing independent animal welfare label program in the U.S. American Humane has
certified producers representing more than 60 million farm animals through American Humane's science-based program. Contracted third-party auditors are rigorously trained in American Humane Certified species-specific standards. As consumers and retailers are increasingly concerned about how food is raised, producers are seeking independent verification for the marketplace. American Humane Certified believes animal welfare should not only be good for animals, but also economically viable and feasible for producers. American Humane Certified works with agriculture to educate and motivate producers and demonstrate the economic and social benefits of animal welfare. American Humane Certified works closely with its independent Scientific Advisory Committee, industry professionals and producers to ensure that industry advancements and best practices are part of American Humane certification
standards. Based on American Humane's 132-year legacy of being the gold standard for humane behavior, consumers trust the American Humane Certified label. Learn more at www.thehumanetouch.org.
About Radlo Foods
Radlo Foods began as Radlo Brothers in 1916, marketing its products in Boston, Mass., near the Faneuil Hall Marketplace, with deliveries conducted by horse and cart. The Radlo family has owned and managed the company for 90 years, and its products still come from sustainable American family farms. Radlo's focus is on quality and exceptional service, and the company is dedicated to the welfare of its hens in order to provide wholesome eggs with the very best in taste and nutrition. The Radlo Foods family of specialty eggs now includes All Natural, Vegetarian Fed, Cage Free, Omega-3 enriched and Organic eggs and egg products found under the Born Free(R) BF Family(TM) and RF Radlo Foods(TM) brand names. Learn more at www.radlo.com.
SOURCE American Humane Certified
Kelley Weir of American Humane, +1-303-925-9148, [email protected]; or Hugh Drummond or Ann Murphy, both for Radlo Foods, +1-617-646-1000