Building A Humane Heartland
The American Humane Association (AHA) founded the Our American Humane Certified farm animal welfare program which, independently audits the humane treatment of farm animals. The AHA has audited one billion animals since 2014, and continued advances in production practices help to ensure that farm animals are treated humanely.
In 2014, the AHA conducted its second national survey exploring consumers’ concern about animal welfare and level of support for humanely raised products. Of the more than 5,900 individuals surveyed, 94.9% indicated being “very concerned” about the humane treatment of farm animals. Survey participants also ranked the “humanely raised” label as more important than other types of food labels, including “organic” and “antibiotic free.” The survey results showed that
- 69% of survey participants believe it is nearly a necessity to label humanely raised products.
- 92.6% of participants feel it is “very important” to buy humanely raised products.
- 75.7% of participants are “very willing” to pay more for humanely raised products.
- 39.6% of participants are familiar with the American Humane Certified™ label.
- 94.9% of participants are “very concerned” about farm animal welfare.
- 89.6% of participants are “extremely interested” in supporting the humane treatment of farm animals.
- 35.6% participants say that the biggest factor keeping them from buying humanely raised products is that they are not available.
Overall, the survey results and comments show that participants believe it is extremely important to label humanely raised products. Nearly half of them were familiar with the American Humane Certified label, though one of the biggest factors keeping participants from purchasing humanely raised products is lack of availability in their shopping areas. Close to ninety percent of the participants believe that farm animals should be treated humanely, with one respondent commenting that “All the farm animals deserve to be treated like the living, breathing, feeling creatures they are. They need to be respected!”
Farm animal advocates throughout the U.S. should find the survey results encouraging: It shows that consumers are aware of animal welfare issues, concerned about them, and willing to pay more for them in theory.[Contributed by Ivy Collier]