Animal Welfare Approved
The Animal Welfare Institute’s “Animal Welfare Approved” program is a non-profit food label that prioritizes the well-being of animals, and the sustainability of humane, independent family farms.
The Animal Welfare Approved program audits and certifies family farmers who raise their animals with the highest animal welfare standards, outdoors on pasture or range. Look for the “Animal Welfare Approved” label on eggs, dairy and meat products. The standards ensure that cattle graze on green pastures; sows can build nests before giving birth; ducks are always able to swim in clean water; and chickens can forage, dust-bathe and spread their wings.
But the Animal Welfare Approved seal is not just a list of rules. It is a philosophy of respect that provides animals on the farm with the environment, housing, and diet they need to engage in essential instinctive behaviors, thereby promoting physiological and psychological health and well-being. Unlike other labeling programs, Animal Welfare Approved requires farmers to raise all animals of an approved species according to high welfare standards.
Reviewed by veterinarians, farmers and scientific experts in animal behavior, and rooted in the Animal Welfare Institute's 60-year track record of reducing the pain and fear inflicted on animals, the Animal Welfare Approved standards give careful thought to the needs of animals and are endorsed by a growing number of farmers, top chefs and notables such as Willie Nelson, Rosemary Harris, and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
For those who can't visit the farm themselves, Animal Welfare Approved serves as the eyes and ears of the conscientious consumer.