The Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization (PAACO) has certified the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Animal Care Program as an approved animal welfare evaluation. PAACO provides training and certification credentials for animal welfare auditors and audits for all sectors of food animal production.
“PAACO’s certification of FARM Animal Care affirms our commitment to the highest standards of animal welfare,” says Emily Yeiser Stepp, Vice President of the FARM Program. “This provides another layer of assurance to the supply chain that FARM is a comprehensive and rigorous tool that ensures dairy products are produced responsibly.”
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 met requirements for audit structure, auditor expectations, and oversight and measurement of animal outcomes, facilities, and documentation,” says Collette Kaster, PAACO Executive Director.
FARM staff will also participate as members of the instruction team for PAACO dairy welfare auditor trainings. PAACO auditor certifications provide professional development opportunities for those looking to grow their animal welfare evaluating skillset.
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.