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Industry News - PM
Temple Grandin launches new sustainable and humane certification

By Janie Gabbett on 2/11/2009

Temple Grandin, renowned designer of humane livestock handling facilities, is launching a new certification program that evaluates both sustainable and humane practices, according to a statement issued by Niman Ranch, which helped Grandin develop the program.

Starting in August 2009, companies that wish to carry the certification seal will be audited on 21 core principles which must be met by all farmers and ranchers receiving certification. The 21 core principles include the following:

  • Animals must be given the opportunity to care for, interact with, and nurture their young. In the case of swine, farrowing crates are not allowed.
  • Practices must be implemented that prevent soil loss or degradation in production areas, minimizes unacceptable or unintended poor air quality for family, workers, and neighbors, and prevents water quality degradation of surface and groundwater resources.
  • Animals must be fed a 100 percent vegetarian diet and have a feeding plan that will guarantee a sufficient, well-balanced diet to appropriately meet their nutritional needs at their stage in life and maintain required Body Condition Scores. Animals shall have access to their feed as long as is necessary for them to satisfy their nutrient requirements.
  • Pasture and/or bedding are the preferred environments. To qualify as pasture, 75 percent or more of the land occupied by livestock in this program must have vegetation with a root system
. With the core principles completed, Grandin and Niman Ranch are now in the process of developing separate guidelines for each species of animals, as well as an auditing plan.

Niman Ranch said it plans to be one of the first companies to be audited to carry the certification seal for their humanely and sustainably raised natural beef, pork, lamb and chicken.

"Using animals for food is fine, but we've got to do it the right way. This program provides farmers and ranchers a practical and affordable way to give animals a decent life and minimize the impact on our environment at the same time," Grandin said in the statement.

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