(HUMANE THANKSGIVING/TURKEYS) This Thanksgiving, if you aren’t planning to replace your turkey with a tofurky, consider getting a certified humane turkey for your holiday feast.

According to Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) “Certified Humane turkeys can flap wings, move around, perch above ground at night, and eat nutritious food without antibiotics or other chemicals.” In other words, certified humane turkeys have lived a normal, and decent life.

Read on for information on where to get a certified humane turkey. — Global Animal

Certified, humane turkeys lead normal, decent lives free of cruelty Photo Credit: Gary M. Stolz U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Sustainable Food News

Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC), which administers the Certified Humane labeling program, said Thursday it doubled the number of turkey producers meeting its animal welfare standards.

The Herndon, Va.-based nonprofit said Koch’s Turkey Farm in Tamaqua, Pa., and White Oak Pastures, located in Bluffton, Ga., are now selling turkeys and chickens that are Certified Humane.

A Certified Humane turkey is one that can flap its wings and move around, can perch above the ground at night, eat nutritious food that doesn’t contain antibiotics or other chemicals and express other natural behaviors.

Turkeys have been so manipulated by farmers to produce the best Thanksgiving dinner meat that they can no longer mate naturally. Photo Credit: Andrea Goh via Flickr
Turkeys are so manipulated by farmers to produce the best Thanksgiving dinner meat that they’re no longer able to mate naturally. Photo Credit: Andrea Goh via Flickr

In general, the Certified Humane designation assures consumers that meat, poultry, egg, or dairy products they purchase have been produced according to HFAC’s standards for humane farm animal treatment.

Animals must receive a nutritious diet without antibiotics or hormones, and must be raised with shelter, resting areas and space sufficient to support natural behavior. Producer compliance with the HFAC standards is verified through annual on-site visits by HFAC’s third-party inspectors.

“We are delighted that we found turkey producers that were willing to make the changes so their turkeys meet our standards. Last year, at this time, the only turkeys being raised that met and exceeded our standards were those on our program from Ayrshire Farm and Footsteps Farm,” said Adele Douglass, HFAC executive director.

Ayrshire Farm still has heritage breed turkeys for Thanksgiving but Footsteps Farm is sold out, HFAC said.

To find out where to buy Certified Humane turkeys, click here.

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