Certification Affirms Dairy’s Commitment to Highest Standards of Animal Welfare, Again

The Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization (PAACO) recertified the FARM Animal Care Program as an approved animal welfare evaluation on Sept. 1. PAACO provides training and certification credentials for animal welfare auditors and audits for all sectors of food animal production.

“Over 99 percent of the U.S. milk supply comes from dairy farms that participate in the FARM Animal Care program,” said Emily Yeiser Stepp, vice president of the FARM Program. “PAACO’s certification affirms that American dairy farmers remain committed to the highest standards of animal welfare and provides assurances of this commitment to the entire dairy supply chain.”

To receive PACCO certification, the FARM Program went through a thorough review process of its Animal Care Version 4 standards, resources and evaluator training materials as compared to standards set by the PAACO Board of Directors. The review ensured that the FARM Program evaluation includes all the key components required for evaluation of livestock animal welfare and is committed to continuous improvement.  “The FARM Program has been awarded recertification of its audit instrument by PAACO and we commend them for their commitment to continuous improvement,” said PAACO Executive Director Collette Kaster.

PAACO was developed in 2004 in response to the growing use of animal welfare audits by the retail and food service sectors. This created the need for training, certification, and continuing education. Since its creation, PAACO’s vision is to be the trusted authority on animal welfare auditing, providing consistency and science-based training of auditors as well as rigorous, science-based audit standards. This is the second year in a row that FARM Animal Care has received PAACO certification.