Understanding Pork Labels

Don’t be fooled by food labels that sound like they mean better for pigs. Use our guide below to learn how these labels actually impact pig welfare—or how they don’t. Look for the ASPCA recommended labels Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane and Global Animal Partnership (Step 2 or higher), and then take our Shop With Your Heart pledge for the latest info on finding these products and making welfare-conscious choices when you shop.

pork guide

AWA Logo
Animal Welfare Approved
 

Certified Humane
Certified
Humane

Global Animal Partnership
Global Animal Partnership

American Humane Certified
American Humane Certified

USDA Organic
USDA Organic†

Free Range
Free Range


No Antibiotics Ever


Natural

Farrowing and Gestation Crates Prohibited

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

No

Adequate Indoor Space Minimums

Gestating Sows:
32 ft2 per pig bedded lying area, plus additional 32 ft2 when indoors

Farrowing Sows:
64 ft2 per sow, plus additional 48 ft2 when indoors

Grower Pigs:
6.5 ft2 to 14 ft2 depending on weight, plus additional space when indoors

Gestating Sows:
28.9 ft2 to 37.6 ft2 per pig depending on age

Farrowing Sows:
48 ft2

Grower Pigs:
4.5 ft2 to 12 ft2 per pig depending on weight

Gestating Sows:
Step 1-2: 32 ft2 per pig
Step 3-5+: 56 ft2 per pig

Farrowing Sows:
All Steps: 48 ft2

Grower Pigs:
Step 1: 7 ft2 to 10 ft2 per pig depending on weight
Step 2: 7 ft2 to 12 ft2 per pig
Step 3-5+: 7 ft2 to 18 ft2 per pig

Gestating Sows:
20 ft2

Farrowing Sows:
Unspecified

Grower Pigs:
1.6 ft2 to 9.3 ft2 per pig depending on weight

No

No

No

No

Environmental Enrichments Required

Must have continuous access to forage

Must have materials for rooting and manipulating (straw/sawdust/
woodchips/rope)

Step 1: No

Step 2-4: Indoors must provide environmental enrichments (straw/hay/
woodchips)

Step 5-5+: Yes, outdoor enrichments on pasture

No

No

No

No

No

Outdoor Access Required

Yes, “continuous outdoor pasture access”

No

Step 1-2: No

Step 3: Yes, “continuous outdoor access during daylight hours”

Step 4: Yes, “continuous access to pasture”

Step 5-5+: Yes, “continuously on pasture”

No

Yes, but undefined

Yes, but undefined

No

No

Routine Tail Docking Prohibited

Yes

Yes

Yes

Permitted < 7 days

No

No

No

No

Teeth Clipping Prohibited

Yes

Permitted only by request for welfare related reasons < 4hrs

Yes

Permitted where necessary to prevent injury < 24hrs

No

No

No

No

Maximum Transport Duration

8 hrs

None

Step 1-5: 16 hrs

Step 5+: Transport not permitted

None

None

None

None

None

Routine Antibiotic Use Prohibited

Yes

Yes

Yes

No, allows nontherapeutic use of ionophores

Yes

No

Yes

No

On-Farm Audits

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Detailed On-Farm Welfare Standards

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

100% Compliance with Standards

Yes

Yes

Yes

No*

Yes

No

No

No

† Although the USDA Organic program released new, stronger animal welfare standards in January 2017, it delayed their implementation for months. Finally, in December 2017, the USDA announced its intention to withdraw these new standards completely. We are monitoring developments and will keep you updated; be sure to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade for alerts if you haven’t already.

* American Humane Certified standards only require that producers meet 85% of the provided standards. Accordingly, it is possible that a producer might not meet certain requirements (including antibiotic use) and still receive the American Humane Certified certification.