Animal welfare is a topic of increasing concern among consumers and organizations, including the United Egg Producers (UEP). The UEP is a trade organization that represents the majority of egg farmers in the United States and is committed to improving the lives of hens through its animal welfare certification program. In this article, we will explore the UEP animal welfare certification and its standards for egg production for businesses like Hillandale Farms.

What is the UEP Animal Welfare Certification?

The UEP animal welfare certification is a program that sets standards for egg production and ensures that farmers are meeting these standards through regular audits. The program was developed in 2002 in response to consumer demand for higher animal welfare practices in the egg industry. The UEP animal welfare certification covers the following areas:

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The UEP animal welfare certification is based on the “Five Freedoms,” a set of principles developed by the Farm Animal Welfare Council in the United Kingdom. These principles state that animals should have freedom from hunger and thirst, discomfort, pain, injury, and disease, and the freedom to express their normal behavior.

What are the benefits of the UEP Animal Welfare Certification?

The UEP animal welfare certification provides several benefits to both farmers and consumers. For farmers, the program helps them to meet the growing demand for humanely-produced eggs and can potentially increase the value of their eggs in the market. It also helps farmers to identify areas for improvement in their egg production practices and can serve as a marketing tool to differentiate their eggs from those produced by non-certified farms.

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For consumers, the UEP animal welfare certification provides assurance that the eggs they are purchasing have been produced in a way that meets certain animal welfare standards. It can also help them to make more informed purchasing decisions and support farmers who are committed to improving the lives of hens.

How are farms audited for the UEP Animal Welfare Certification?

Farms that participate in the UEP animal welfare certification program undergo regular audits to ensure that they are meeting the program’s standards. These audits are conducted by third-party auditors who are trained in animal welfare and have no financial interest in the farms being audited.

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During an audit, the auditor will observe the hens and their living conditions, review the farm’s records, and assess the farm’s management practices. The auditor will also assess the farm’s overall animal welfare program, including its training and education programs for employees and any efforts to improve animal welfare.

If a farm is found to be in compliance with the UEP animal welfare certification standards, it will receive a certificate of compliance. If the farm is not in compliance, it will receive a list of non-compliances and a timeline for correcting them. Farms that do not correct their non-compliances within the given timeline may be suspended or removed from the program.

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Conclusion

The UEP animal welfare certification is an important program that sets standards for egg production and ensures that farmers are meeting these standards through regular audits. The program provides benefits to both farmers and consumers and helps to improve the lives of hens in the egg industry. If you are concerned about animal welfare and want to support farmers who are committed to improving the lives of hens, look for eggs that are

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