The U.S. meat packing industry for livestock is regulated by the Humane Slaughter Act. Federal inspectors in plants during every minute of operation ensure compliance with this important law and can take immediate action for violations.
In 1991, the industry teamed with leading animal welfare expert Dr. Temple Grandin to develop voluntary guidelines that took federal regulations a step further. In 1997, the American Meat Institute and Dr. Grandin developed an audit program to measure key factors in plants that can indicate stress, like how often livestock vocalize, whether they slip or fall, and how often they must be prodded to encourage them to walk forward. By measuring welfare using objective criteria, the industry improved welfare in plants dramatically. Today, this audit program has become a global animal welfare standard. Compliance with the standard is often required in order to sell meat to key customers. For more information about the U.S. meat packing industry's animal handling guidelines, visit www.meatami.com.