June 21, 2019

Major Victory for Vermont’s Animals, Farmers and Consumers

Yesterday, Vermont’s governor signed S.160 into law, making Vermont the first state to pass a law enabling funding for more humane farmingThis landmark bill will ensure that Vermont farms and businesses looking to meet animal welfare certification standards or expand the capacity of their welfare-certified businesses have access to state funding. 

The ASPCA has been working with Vermont legislators for the past two years to make this law a reality. Our Vermont advocates reached out to their legislators, submitted letters to the editor and joined other farmers and businesses in showing their support for growing welfare-certified farming in the state.

Meaningful animal welfare certifications require more transparent, humane practices than conventional farming. They prohibit the most inhumane practices used on many industrial farms—including caging and crating—while ensuring that animals have enough room and enrichment to carry out their natural behaviors. Welfare certifications also require regular on-site audits, offering assurances of better treatment that animals deserve and that consumers want.

Certification labels make it easy for consumers to identify higher-welfare options in the marketplace, thereby helping more humane farmers reach welfare-conscious consumers. The demand for welfare-certified products is growing, with restaurants, retailers and institutions nationwide making major commitments to responsible food sourcing. 

With the passage of S.160, Vermont’s farmers will now be eligible for funding to help achieve certification and scale their operations to meet increasing demand. More welfare-certified farms in Vermont means better lives for farm animals, access to new markets for farmers, and more humane options for conscientious shoppers. Vermont has set the bar for how to uphold a more humane, transparent food system, and we hope other states will follow suit. 

Help us continue to make progress for farm animals by joining the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade and working to support more humane farming in your state. To find out more about existing funding options for farmers outside of Vermont, visit our farmer funding page