American Humane Association Announces Major Victories At Inaugural “Be Humane” Summit

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Nation’s leading charity protecting society’s most vulnerable now ensures humane treatment of close to 1 billion farm animals, unveils plans for unprecedented study examining links in autistic tendencies between children and dogs

Orlando, FL, September 12 – Today, American Humane Association, the first national humane organization, announced a number of important victories in the humane movement, most notably the protection of nearly 1 billion farm animalsin the United States. This week, the only charity dedicated to the protection of both children and animals is holding its inaugural Be Humane summit, a convening of the top scientists and experts dedicated to the study of the human-animal bond and the welfare, wellness and well-being of children and animals.

American Humane Association’s American Humane Certified™ program now certifies the humane treatment of almost 10 percent of all farm animals raised for food production in this country. An agreement with a soon-to-be announced major producer has ensured that America’s oldest farm animal welfare certification program will continue to be not only the largest, but the fastest-growing effort of its kind in the world.

“Every year, 10 billion animals are raised for food on America’s farms and ranches, and all animals deserve to be treated humanely,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association’s president and CEO. “Yet 90 percent of them still do not live under scientifically-based welfare standards in independently-verified living conditions. We are proud to now certify the welfare of nearly 1 billion of these animals, and we will continue to work hard to educate producers, retailers and consumers about the benefits of third-party welfare audits.”

Tomorrow, American Humane Association will publish the “Humane Heartland™ Farm Animal Welfare Survey.” A key finding in the research is that 89 percent of almost 3,000 Americans surveyed stated they were concerned about the welfare of animals raised on farms and ranches. In addition, when asked what factors were most important to them, a label indicating the animals were humanely raised was ranked as the highest in importance, over organic, natural and antibiotic-free.

During his opening keynote address, Phil Francis, the former CEO and Chairman of PetSmart, Inc., unveiled plans for a groundbreaking study examining the link of autistic tendencies in both dogs and children. “ Decoding Obsessive Behaviors in Canines and Autism in Children” is a collaboration between American Humane Association and the Translational Genomics Research Institute and will examine the autistic tendencies present in three breeds of dogs: Bull Terriers, Doberman Pinschers and Jack Russell Terriers. American Humane Association is currently pursuing funding for this innovative study which could potentially be the pathway to earlier autism diagnoses in children.

The association also announced its new Humane Policy Giving Circle. This group will work with key national and state lawmakers to adopt an agenda of common-sense, evidence-based public policy solutions for today's most pressing challenges facing children and animals.

The Cat Health and Welfare Forum, led by American Humane Association’s Chief Veterinary Advisor Dr. Patricia Olson and presented by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, is a high-profile convening of the nation’s top cat experts. There are many challenges facing America’s most popular pet, and this forum is discussing solutions for improving feline health, well-being, and adoption and retention rates of cats in homes.

American Humane Association’s Be Humane summit convenes national thought leaders for an exploration on what it means to be humane in today’s times, including how the interaction of science, technology, and entertainment impacts the humane movement. Thursday’s portion of the summit featured four panels discussing Humane Research, Humane Heartland, Humane Hollywood and Humane Intervention, and featured stirring addresses from Animal Planet star Victoria Stilwell, who spoke on the importance of the protection of animal actors on the sets of film and television productions, while “Top Chef Masters” competitor Chef Douglas Keane talked about why using humanely-raised products is the right thing to do. The summit is taking place at the Walt Disney World BoardWalk Inn and Conference Center and will close with a keynote from “My Cat From Hell” star Jackson Galaxy during Friday’s lunch. The summit is open to the media.

The “Humane Heartland™ Farm Animal Welfare Survey” will be available for download on Friday September 13 at www.americanhumane.org.

About American Humane Association


American Humane Association is the country’s first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.orgtoday.

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