Robin Ganzert, Ph.D., is the President and CEO of American Humane Association, the oldest national humane organization in the United States. American Humane’s farm animal welfare certification program, the first of its kind in the United States, ensures the humane treatment of hundreds of millions of animals. Robin is a frequent media commentator and has appeared on TODAY, ABC World News Tonight, and Fox & Friends, among others. She has written or been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, Time Magazine, FoxNews.com, The Hill, and Fast Company.
How are your cows treated? Animal welfare: What it means to be humane in today’s times for the dairy industry
How are your cows treated? Consumers and retailers are asking. . .
Our modern food system is safe, abundant and affordable – and today’s consumers are increasingly demanding that animals in food production are afforded humane treatment and care.
Awareness of farm animal welfare has grown in America and around the world, as part of an ever-growing dialogue about food that includes consumers; retailers and restaurants; government and regulatory agencies; processors, packers and producers; auditors and certifiers; and educators. Our food system can be viewed through multiple lenses based on of ethics, science, opinion or economics. And increasingly, the dialogue is about a food system that is searching for a balance of safe and affordable, as well as ethical and defensible choices involving animal welfare.
Concern about the way animals were being raised for food and how they were being treated in the process evolved slowly over time. Animal welfare became increasingly complex as modern intensive farming practices grew, resulting in the need for regulations and legislation. With legislative efforts to regulate animal handling practices and certain types of housing, the movement for transparency and desire for food labeling that certifies animal welfare is intensifying, driven by consumers and retailers.
Animal welfare is a process of continuous improvement, and farmers and ranchers are a critical part of the solution. Championing positive action – towards animal-centric standards – within a framework of realistic and attainable goals will produce long-term changes and a more transparent food supply with lasting cultural, environmental, moral, and economic advantages.