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American Meat Institute Launches New Web Site www.animalhandling.org

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The American Meat Institute (AMI) today unveiled a new web site http://www.animalhandling.org that aims to be a resource for the meat industry, the public and the media about animal handling in meat plants.

Included on the new site is the AMI Foundation (AMIF) Recommended Animal Handling Guidelines and Audit Guide, 2005 edition, written by one of the world’s leading animal welfare experts, Dr. Temple Grandin of Colorado State University. The guide can be downloaded for free and includes AMI Foundation audit forms for cattle and calves, pigs and sheep.

AMIF’s Recommended Animal Handling Guidelines and Audit Guide is the gold standard for animal handling and auditing worldwide. AMIF was the first animal agriculture organization to develop animal handling guidelines, originally released in 1991, and also the first to develop a self-audit program, originally released in 1997. The guidelines are used in the Certified Humane Raised and Handled Certification Program™. In addition, they are recommended by the American Humane Association. Today, these documents have been merged into a single, easy-to-use guide, complete with official audit forms.

In addition to the guidelines and audit forms, the new web site www.animalhandling.org also includes sections on animal welfare auditing, animal handling training materials, a section on animal welfare versus animal rights, an explanation of federal requirements for animal welfare in meat plants and a series of photos that illustrate animal handling in meat plants.

Also on the site are new “helmet stickers” that can be used by plants to recognize animal handlers who are trained and qualified. The stickers cost $25 per 100 stickers, including shipping and handling.

“The American Meat Institute Foundation has been a leader in developing animal handling standards and in offering top-notch training opportunities, like our Animal Care and Handling Conference, held last week in Kansas City,” said AMI President J. Patrick Boyle. “Animal welfare is a non-competitive issue in the meat industry and we are pleased to offer all of our resources on a single, easy-to-navigate web site. We also hope that this web site will be an important resource for reporters and the public.”

For more information contact:
Janet Riley
SVP, Public Affairs
Dave Ray
Vice President, Public Affairs

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