The Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization Inc. (PAACO) has granted certified audit status to FACTA LLC’s Humane Certified Welfare Audit Program – Turkey, verifying that it has met the organization’s 11 minimum criteria for animal welfare audits.

Certifying audit instruments is one of the services offered by PAACO, whose auditor trainings for meat plants and poultry have become an industry standard. While audit tools for dairy and swine production and meat plant welfare for cattle, swine and lamb have previously attained certified status, this is the first certification to cover turkey welfare from hatchery through slaughter production stages.

In order to become PAACO-certified, the program must be submitted for a third-party review by a panel of animal welfare experts appointed by PAACO and overseen by a PAACO representative. This group initially critiques the audit for improvements and primarily evaluates it to determine if the audit meets all 11 minimum criteria established by the PAACO board of directors for a certifiable audit instrument. These criteria apply to all meat animal species.  The panel that reviewed the FACTA audit was comprised of: Michael P. Martin, DVM, MPVM, ACPV, North Carolina State University; Richard M. Fulton, DVM, PhD, Michigan State University; Helen Wojcinski, DVM, DVSc, ACPV, Hybrid Turkeys. Dave Hermes, DVM, Perdue Farms, served as the board liaison.

PAACO’s board of directors makes the final determination to grant certification status.  All certified audits must be reviewed annually to maintain certification status.


“Interest in quality audit tools continues to grow,” says PAACO Chairman Terry Mader, PhD. “As increasing numbers of other species and organizations ask about this service, we are pleased to be able to contribute in this independent way to the advancement of quality animal welfare auditing.”

Stephen Shepard, FACTA’s director of poultry auditing and training, adds, “The PAACO approval process was very thorough and provided a superior level of quality to our audit tool as well as the program itself.  FACTA believes in the value of objective, independent reviews of audit tools and we are excited to have that added to both our turkey and swine services.”

Information on other species with certified audits and programs, as well as the core criteria, may be found on the “PAACO Accredited and Certified Programs” page on the PAACO website.