White chickens in coop. studiodr/ThinkstockPhotos

Global Animal Partnership launches rating system for poultry

Animal welfare system designed to improve welfare of animals in agriculture.

Global Animal Partnership (GAP) has launched a 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standard for Laying Hens and Animal Welfare Rating Standard for Pullets.

The multi-tiered standard will be available to provide a platform for continuous improvement at the farm level, as well as a recognized label to communicate this standard to consumers.

GAP’s egg program is unique for a few reasons: first, the GAP standard accounts for the entire life of the chicken, including separate standards for younger birds (pullets) as well as mature hens during the laying cycle. Second, GAP’s standards cover the widest variety of production systems, not focusing purely on indoor-only or pasture-only. Finally, as with all other GAP-certified operations, every farm within the farm-to-table supply chain must be audited every 15 months by an independent, third-party certifier.

When developing the standard, GAP consulted with egg industry representatives and producers, sought guidance from animal welfare science experts, field tested the program, and held an extensive public consultative process.

The Global Animal Partnership is a global leader in farm animal welfare that has established a comprehensive step-by-step program for raising animals that requires audits of every single farm. GAP makes it easy for consumers to find meat products that reflect their values.

A nonprofit founded in 2008, GAP brings together farmers, scientists, ranchers, retailers, and animal advocates with the common goal of improving the welfare of animals in agriculture.

So far, the 5-Step program includes more than 3,000 farms and ranches that range from Step 1 to Step 5+ and now raise more than 290 million animals annually.

Source: BusinessWire

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