The New York State Cattle Health Assurance Program (NYSCHAP) animal welfare review program for dairy producers is the second of its kind to be granted certified program status by the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization, Inc. (PAACO). Earning the PAACO-certified distinction signifies that the New York dairy program has met or exceeded all of PAACO’s minimum standards from start to finish as a rigorous, comprehensive audit program and instrument.

The initial step in the process was submission of the program materials and audit for third-party peer review. An independent panel of dairy welfare professionals made up of veterinarians and dairy scientists with welfare backgrounds reviewed the materials against 12 minimum standards that PAACO’s board of directors has established.

“More and more, we see in the animal industry a call to validate husbandry practices related to welfare through credible audit instruments, professional training and qualified auditors that our organization supports,” says PAACO Chairman David Hermes, DVM. “We are confident that the people responsible for the care of livestock and poultry do a fine job, but consumers are seeking some independent assurance that their food products come from a humane process.” PD


—From PAACO news release