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The pigs on Donny and Alease Williams' farm in Autryville, North Carolina have room to roam. They didn't always. When the couple began farming the land, the pigs were housed the conventional way: confined to indoor stalls. Donny and Alease, however, wanted to fashion a better living for both themselves and their animals by transitioning to pasture-based farming. The Animal Welfare Institute's farm certification program helped them realize that dream.
Today, the pigs on the Animal Welfare Approved D&A Williams Farm live and roam freely in sunlit pastures, rooting, foraging and enjoying the occasional mud bath and the company of other pigs in natural surroundings. To assist their transition to humane farming, AWI provided the Williamses a grant for portable outdoor farrowing (birthing) huts. The huts allow sows the freedom to remain on pasture while keeping their piglets safe.
The Animal Welfare Institute was founded in 1951 to alleviate the suffering inflicted on animals by people. Thousands of farmers across North America are turning to the Institute's farm certification program as a way to showcase humane farming practices. The AWA seal on meat, dairy and eggs assures consumers that these products come from humane farming systems, and that the animals are not confined to small crates, cramped feedlots, and other cruel and unnatural conditions.
Visit AWIonline.org to learn more about AWA certification, as well as the Animal Welfare Institute's other work to improve the lives of wild and domestic animals around the globe.