Victory: ACCC Rejects ‘Humane’ Farming Label for Animal-Derived Foods

PETA Joins Others in Successfully Arguing That Such Labels Could Mislead Consumers

Sydney – The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has rejected an application by US-based Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) to bring the “Certified Humane” label to Australia. The decision comes after the ACCC received numerous submissions from interested parties, including PETA, the RSPCA, and Vegan Australia.

In its submission, PETA pointed out that no process that turns a living, feeling being into a dismembered, bloodied cut of flesh can ever be described as “humane”. The group argued that consumers who rely on “humane” food labels in making purchasing choices expect that animals raised and killed to be turned into consumables experience happy lives and endure minimal suffering during the slaughter process – noting that even if welfare guidelines are strictly adhered to, these assumptions and expectations rarely align with reality.

In its final assessment, the ACCC explained its reason for rejecting the certification, citing concern that “there is a risk that products would be certified that were produced using processes that are not consistent with Australian consumers’ expectations of humane animal care, and possibly do not meet minimum Australian animal welfare standards”.

“The ACCC has done the right thing in questioning the standards of the ‘Certified Humane’ label,” says PETA spokesperson Emily Rice. “One need only look at the egregious cruelty revealed by many investigations into meat production – including one released by PETA into chicken manufacturer Baiada, which produces the Lilydale Free Range brand – to realise that animals exploited for their flesh, bodily fluids, and skin don’t get ‘humane’ treatment.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview – notes that, in today’s meat, egg, dairy, and fishing industries, piglets’ tails are clipped without painkillers, chickens’ throats are cut while they’re still conscious, cows are forcibly separated from their beloved calves, and fish are cut open while they’re still alive.

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