WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, March 31, 2016 —
American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization and creator of the first and largest third-party farm animal welfare certification program, announced today that Handsome Brook Farm has met its rigorous farm animal welfare standards and achieved certification through the American Humane Certified™ program for pasture raised eggs. Handsome Brook Farm currently produces pasture raised eggs on farms in New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland, Kentucky, and Virginia. Handsome Brook Farm Pasture Raised Eggs, in both organic and non-GMO options, are available through retailers at over 4,000 locations throughout the United States including Kroger, Publix, Sprouts, Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, Wegman’s, and independent and natural retailers. Handsome Brook Farm is the only egg provider certified by American Humane that is 100 percent pasture raised.
“Animal welfare is at the core of what we do,” said Betsy Babcock, who, along with her husband Bryan, founded Handsome Brook Farm. “It is undeniable that the marketplace is saturated with misleading labels. We want our customers to be assured that the quality of our eggs is derived from our hens’ quality of life. American Humane certification provides that assurance to our customers. Handsome Brook Farm meets the American Humane Certified program’s rigorous pasture standards requirement of 108 square feet of pasture per hen, as well as other science-based welfare standards such as protection from inclement weather and predators. Pasture raised eggs are a growing segment of the U.S. egg production systems.”
American Humane’s most recent survey shows overwhelming popular support for the humane treatment of farm animals. Its Humane Heartland™ Farm Animal Survey polled 5,900 Americans and more than nine in ten (94.9%) said they are “very concerned” about farm animal welfare, up from 89 percent in American Humane’s 2013 study. More than three-quarters (75.7%) stated that they are very willing to pay more for humanely raised eggs, meat, and dairy products, up from 74 percent in 2013.
“The welfare of America’s egg-laying hens is a top priority for millions of consumers,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane’s president and CEO. “And pasture raised eggs are growing in popularity and one of three different egg production styles our American Humane Certified program certifies. We are pleased that Handsome Brook Farm has made the humane choice and achieved certification through our American Humane Certified program.”
American Humane was founded around the issue of farm animal welfare in 1877 and has been at the forefront of improvements and protections for children, pets and farm animals for 139 years (see historic timeline). In 2000 American Humane created the nation’s first third-party farm animal welfare certification and auditing program with species-specific science-based standards covering everything from adequate space to air quality, heat and lighting, humane treatment, and the ability for animals to be animals and express the natural behaviors of their kind. These standards for the resulting American Humane Certified program were built upon the internationally accepted values of the Five Freedoms, adopted by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, as well as input from animal science experts, veterinarians and other animal husbandry specialists. These evidence-based standards are reviewed regularly by an independent Scientific Advisory Committee made up of some of the world’s leading experts and animal advocates.