The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has rejected an application by the US-based and misleadingly named Humane Farm Animal Care to bring the “Certified Humane” label to Australia after hearing from PETA and other groups, including the RSPCA and Vegan Australia.
In our submission on the application, we pointed out that no process that turns a living, feeling being into dismembered, bloodied cuts of flesh can ever be described as “humane”.
For consumers, the term “humane” conjures up images of animals enjoying happy lives and enduring minimal suffering during the slaughter process. However, even if welfare guidelines were strictly followed, these idyllic visions wouldn’t align with the reality of contemporary animal agriculture.
For example, the guidelines allow for pregnant and newly nursing sows to be housed inside farrowing crates a mere 1.8 metres by 2.4 metres in size
The guidelines also allow for the beaks of hens used for their eggs to be trimmed so that they don’t peck each other out of frustration, even though trimming can result in reduced sensitivity and impaired function of a bird’s beak.
Even though research has shown that hot branding and freeze branding are painful procedures for cattle, both are allowed under the proposed “humane” certification.
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”.
Such a label would only be a feel-good marketing ploy to dupe consumers and contribute nothing to the welfare of animals.
The ACCC has done the right thing by rejecting the standards of the “Certified Humane” label. You only need to look at the many investigations released by PETA and our international affiliates – including of Australia’s dairy, chicken and wool industries – to realise that there is nothing “humane” about what animals who are exploited for their flesh, bodily fluids, and eggs endure.
If you’re truly interested in humane food, download our free vegan starter kit.