Animal Welfare Audits

Livestock producers who sell their products to meat packing companies have to follow guidelines to be sure the animals are being treated humanely. Assurances that animals are raised within the guidelines are provided through third-party auditing companies rather than legislation.

FACTA, which stands for Farm Animal Care Training and Auditing, is an auditing company that works with producers in the swine, poultry, and beef cattle industry.

Haley Spangler Bower is the director of animal welfare auditing and training. She says meat packers request the audits, which must be completed by producers in order to sell their products.

"Every audit tool we have is standards based on your records, your standard operating procedures, and then how your animals are performing on-site," she says. "We go through all of those different sections of the audit tool and complete an assessment that you can give your packer, and in turn to sell your product."

If any red flags are found, Spangler-Bower says corrective actions must be made within 30-days of the audit. But they also help producers find areas for improvement by providing training and education to all farm employees.                                                                                                                                               

"Part of our auditing program requires our auditors to look at the audit tool and stick to those standards, but also survey the farm and help producers identify areas where there could be a potential risk, and go through the facilities and make sure that those producers are being as proactive as they can when it comes to animal welfare," she says.

The takeaway from this service is a wealth of information available to management, animal caretakers, and consumers.

Learn more about animal welfare auditing programs