Six upscale restaurants in New York City have all signed on to serve only animal-food products that have been “Certified Humane.”

The Certified Humane program was launched in May 2003 by the Humane Farm Animal Care group. The group set its own standards for humane farm animal treatment and specified that the animals must be raised without the use of antibiotics or hormones.  The group has been signing up restaurants and livestock producers ever since.

So far 12 restaurants are participating in the program and 26 livestock producers who raise beef, lamb, dairy products, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys and eggs have passed the certification process to sell products that are Certified Humane. Once becoming certified, each livestock operation is audited annually.

Certified-humane products cost about 10 to 15 percent more than products from conventionally-raised livestock.

HFAC is supported by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, The Humane Society of the United States and many regional animal-protection groups.

To learn more about the Certified Humane program and its standards, go to www.certifiedhumane.com/

Nation’s Restaurant News, Dairy Herd Management magazine