The American Meat Institute Foundation (AMIF) on July 24 released an updated version of the AMI Foundation Recommended Animal Handling Guidelines & Audit Guide: A Systematic Approach to Animal Welfare, July 2013 Edition.
AMI’s Animal Welfare Committee collaborates regularly with guideline author Temple Grandin, PhD, professor of animal science at Colorado State University, to determine what changes and clarifications are needed based upon real-world use. The audit underwent a major overhaul in 2010 when a transportation audit was added. The audit was fine-tuned in the August 2012 edition and fine-tuned even further in the July 2013 edition.
In the latest edition, users will note a number of changes that are detailed on page four of the new document:
- A clarification has been added that farrowing on trucks should be counted just as calving and lambing are.
- A new category called “ambulatory disabled animals” has been added to Core Criteria Six of the Transportation audit to track animals that can still walk and are not severely injured, but appear lame and have some impairment of movement.
- Under Core Criteria 2 of the Sheep Transportation Audit, an omission of “compartments gated” was corrected.
The new edition has received an updated certification from the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization (PAACO). The guidelines were the first and remain the only association-authored animal welfare guidelines certified by PAACO.
“We are proud of our guidelines’ long history in encouraging continuous improvement in animal handling and welfare in meat-packing plants and of our continuing effort to make this a living, breathing document that is improved and refined based upon new knowledge and real-world experience,” says AMI Animal Welfare Committee chairman Rob Elder, PhD, director of HACCP, Food Safety and Regulatory Compliance at Seaboard Foods.
To access the new guidelines, visit www.AnimalHandling.org.