USDA program to assess animal welfare standards

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WASHINGTON – The US Dept. of Agriculture has developed a program for organizations interested in having their animal welfare standards and programs verified against the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Specification (TS) 34700 – Animal Welfare Management/General Requirements and Guidance for Organizations in the Food Supply Chain.

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will offer assessments of independent animal welfare programs and standards. AMS will verify programs through routine independent and on-site audits to ensure they meet requirements.

The ISO TS was developed to ensure that food-producing animals are raised, transported and processed humanely. The standard also establishes a framework for animal welfare standards used by the industry and programs to verify they are science-based and can be widely accepted.

Interested organizations can review the procedure, titled “USDA ISO TS 34700 Animal Welfare Assessment.” Additional information can be found on the AMS website.

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