In order to qualify for the "Humanely Raised" label, farms voluntarily meet a few standards. These include giving sufficient food, water and ventilation, as well as allocating eight-tenths of a square foot of area per bird. Unlike recognized labels that involve third-party inspections, the National Chicken Council is the trade organization for the chicken industry.
In contrast, a better (though not foolproof) label used by many farms is the Animal Welfare Approved sticker, which indicates that a third-party inspector has approved a supplier on a myriad of animal welfare standards. Chicken farmers are also required to keep relatively small flocks, administer veterinary care or humane euthanasia for injured or sick birds, and allow birds to roam in outdoor areas.
For now, animal advocates are happy that the company will not be allowed to misrepresent itself.
"We are pleased to see the claim removed from Harvestland's packaging, which we view to be misleading," said Peter Petersan, Director of Animal Protection Litigation for the Humane Society of the United States. "We will continue to work to protect both animals and consumers."