A new program administered by the National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education (NIAMRRE), will soon give producers a better way to demonstrate to consumers that they follow responsible animal care principles.
One Health CertifiedTM, a comprehensive animal care program, establishes verified animal production practices in five core areas: disease prevention, veterinary care, responsible antibiotic use, animal welfare, and environmental impacts.
Companies that align their procedures to meet the program standards, and pass an audit administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, qualify for certification and the right to label their retail and wholesale products with a logo that conveys responsible animal care practices have been followed and verified.
Participating in this USDA Process Verified Program provides an objective, third-party verification that producers fully comply with the guidelines of the program. Through this process, participating companies will demonstrate their management commitment, transparency, and accountability to follow the responsible animal care practices outlined in the One Health CertifiedTM program standards.
Mountaire Farms, the nation’s sixth largest chicken producer, is the first company to adopt the standards for chicken. The company successfully completed audits in all of its production complexes in November of 2019, when the USDA verified that their practices met the One Health CertifiedTM standards.
“It was important to us that we participate in a holistic and ethical program that strives for optimal health outcomes for animals, consumers, and the planet,” said Dr. Don Ritter, director of technical marketing at Mountaire Farms. “One Health CertifiedTM successfully avoids the tradeoffs and unintended consequences of more narrowly focused programs, which may at times put animal health and welfare at unnecessary risk.”
One Health CertifiedTM defines species-specific requirements for each animal protein under one universal program. Chicken and turkey are the first species for which audit standards have been established. Additional animal protein standards are in progress and will become available for certification in the near future.
“As an organization, NIAMRRE is delighted to support the One Health CertifiedTM program,” said Dr. Paul Plummer, NIAMRRE executive director. “The program is true to the One Health principles of multiple organizations and disciplines working together to improve human health, veterinary health, agriculture and the environment.”
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