Washington, D.C. – The American Meat Institute (AMI) today announced the release of the 2007 Animal Handling Guidelines and Audit Guide. These internationally recognized guidelines are an updated version of the 2005 guidelines and have been revised based upon feedback from the field.
Audit points in the guidelines
include measurement of: frequency of slips and
falls by livestock; frequency of vocalizations;
frequency of electric prod use; stunner
accuracy; and how effectively livestock are
made insensible during processing. The audit
also calls for the monitoring of any willful
acts of abuse (which is an immediate audit
failure) and the provision of water at all
times. Major changes include the addition of a
new audit point for monitoring slips and falls
at unloading and a new approach to vocalization
scoring of pigs.
The audit guide was
first created in 1996, after Dr. Grandin
audited U.S. meat packing plants. At that
time, she concluded that animal welfare in meat
packing plants could be evaluated objectively.
She argued that by developing measurable
criteria and auditing regularly, the industry
could monitor welfare in our plants and strive
for continuous improvement. AMI’s Animal
Welfare Committee endorsed this idea, and in,
1997, released the first animal welfare audit
document. Since that time, the guidelines have
been updated twice.
By 1999, major
quick service restaurant customers were
requiring the use of this audit as a
requirement for doing business. The “AMI
audit” also is used around the world and by
certification groups like Certified Humane and
“Dr. Grandin argued that
you manage what you measure. The act of
counting and measuring with regularity ensures
that when a deviation occurs, a plant can
explore and rectify the cause,” AMI President
J. Patrick Boyle said. “We have seen
dramatic improvements in our animal handling as
a result of this innovative initiative a decade
ago.” Dr. Grandin’s data documenting
improvements are found on
In 2002, AMI’s Board
of Directors voted to make animal welfare a
non-competitive issue, which has inspired
further cooperation among members to help each
other continuously improve.
sector of animal agriculture is as heavily
regulated and inspected for animal welfare
practices as the meat packing industry.
Federal inspectors oversee our packing
operations continuously and can take actions
– including closing a plant – for failure
to comply with federal rules,” Boyle said.
“However, our goal has been to not just meet,
but to exceed federal rules. We have a
documented history of doing just that and we
are very proud of our proactive
All of AMI’s materials and
guidelines may be found on http://www.animalhandling.org.
The site is public and the guidelines are
American Meat Institute Releases 2007 Animal Handling Guidelines and Audit Guide, Written By Leading Animal Welfare Expert Dr. Temple GrandinMonday, May 7, 2007
For more information contact:
Vice President, Public Affairs
Sr. Vice President, Public Aff