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Program Definitions

These definitions are designed to be read in conjunction with A Greener World’s published standards. They represent the definitions that auditors and farmers will use for program descriptions and auditing.

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  • Abnormal behavior
    Any behavior considered to be outside the normal behavior pattern for animals within a particular context, class and age.
  • Abuse
    Any physiological or emotional mistreatment of an animal including bodily harm, not providing adequate feed or water, not taking action to treat a sick or injured animal, unduly scaring or intimidating an animal or any other action that could cause suffering. Abuse is prohibited under Animal Welfare Approved standards.
  • Advertise
    Describe or draw attention to a fact in a public forum. Advertising could be either spoken word or written.
  • Agricultural land
    Land used for agricultural production, whether crops or livestock.
  • Agrobiodiversity
    Agrobiodiversity is the result of natural selection processes and the careful selection and inventive developments of farmers, herders and fishers over millennia. agrobiodiversity is a vital sub-set of biodiversity. Many people’s food and livelihood security depend on the sustained management of various biological resources that are important for food and agriculture. Agricultural biodiversity, also known as agrobiodiversity or the genetic resources for food and agriculture, includes: Harvested crop varieties, livestock breeds, fish species and non-domesticated (wild) resources within field, forest, rangeland including tree products, wild animals hunted for food and in aquatic ecosystems (e.g. wild fish); Non-harvested species in production ecosystems that support food provision, including soil micro-biota, pollinators and other insects such as bees, butterflies, earthworms, greenflies; and Non-harvested species in the wider environment that support food production ecosystems (agricultural, pastoral, forest and aquatic ecosystems).
  • Agrochemicals
    Refers to the broad range of pesticides, including insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
  • Agroecology
    Agroecology is a scientific discipline, a set of practices and a social movement. As a science, it studies how different components of the agroecosystem interact. As a set of practices, it seeks sustainable farming systems that optimize and stabilize yields. As a social movement, it pursues multifunctional roles for agriculture, promotes social justice, nurtures identity and culture, and strengthens the economic viability of rural areas. Family farmers are the people who hold the tools for practicing agroecology. They are the real keepers of the knowledge and wisdom needed for this agenda. Therefore, family farmers around the world are the keys elements for producing food in an agroecological way.
  • Air pollution
    The presence of toxic chemicals or compounds (including those of biological origin) in the air, at levels that pose a health risk.
  • Alighting rail
    Perch or rail in front of the nest box that allows the bird easy access to the box.
  • Allowed Input
    Allowed inputs are defined as products permitted for use in Certified Regenerative farming.
  • Ambulatory
    Able to engage in an unrestricted walking pattern with proper weight bearing on all legs.
  • Amendment
    Alteration to the language or provision of a standard that is made or proposed to be made.
  • Analgesia
    Insensibility to pain without loss of consciousness.
  • Anesthetic
    A product used to temporarily numb an area in order for a surgical operation to take place (most common use in animal production is "local anesthetic".)
  • Animal
    Recognized farm animals that are raised for meat, dairy or fiber.
  • Animal by products
    Products commonly used as feed ingredients that are derived from unused parts of other animals, for example meat and bone meal, feather meal and/or manure, eggs and hatchery waste. Feeding animal by-products is prohibited under Animal Welfare Approved standards.
  • Anoxic gases
    Gases with no oxygen content used for stunning and/or slaughter of pigs and poultry. Because there are no receptors in the brain for these gases the bird or animal cannot perceive that it is going into an environment where there is no oxygen.
  • Antibiotics
    A family of drugs used for the purpose of treating or preventing the outbreak of bacterial infection. (Under the AGW standards animals must be managed to keep them in good health and routine use of antibiotics is banned. Any sick or injured animal must be treated and this treatment could include antibiotics.)
  • Appeal
    A request to AGW to re-evaluate a decision or standard.
  • Applicant
    A person who applies for AGW certification.
  • Application
    An official request for something.
  • Application pending
    An application that has not yet been seen by the Approval Board.
  • Arc
    A moveable shelter for pigs or poultry.
  • Arsenic
    A growth promoter used by conventional agriculture.
  • Artificial insemination
    Using an instrument to introduce semen collected from a male into a female for the purposes of animal breeding.
  • Assessment of Risk
    A risk assessment is the identification of activities carried out on the holding, and potential risks and opportunities associated with them. A risk assessment allows you to assess the likelihood of your activities causing harm to the environment. This includes describing potential hazards and impacts before taking precautions to reduce the risks. There are five key steps to carrying out a risk assessment. You need to: identify any hazards, i.e. possible sources of harm describe the harm they might cause evaluate the risk of occurrence and identify precautions record the results of the assessment and implement precautions review the assessment at regular intervals
  • Bare Land
    Land that has been left fallow with no cover crop.
  • Baseline
    A clearly defined starting point from where implementation begins, improvement is judged, or comparison is made. The measured conditions at the start of certification.
  • Beak clipping-trimming-tipping
    Removing all or part of the bird beak, normally practiced to avoid birds pecking each other as a result of overcrowding or other production stresses. This is prohibited under Animal Welfare Approved standards.
  • Bedding
    Materials for animals to lie or sleep on, usually straw, shavings etc (see also litter).
  • Biodiversity
    Biodiversity is a term used to describe the enormous variety of life on Earth. It can be used more specifically to refer to all of the species in one region or ecosystem.
  • Biosecurity
    An important management practice to prevent the introduction or spread of disease and hence avoid the unnecessary use of drugs (antibiotics).
  • Biotechnology
    The manipulation (as through genetic engineering) of living organisms or their components to produce useful usually commercial products (such as pest resistant crops, new bacterial strains, or novel pharmaceuticals). For the purpose of the Certified Non-GMO by AGW standard, biotechnology including, but not limited to meganucleases and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALEN), RNA-dependent DNA methylation (RdDM) and reverse breeding (RB), agro-infiltration, oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis (ODM), zinc finger nucleases (ZFN), RNA interference (RNAi), will be considered GMO.
  • Black water
    Black water that is in contact with fecal matter, sewage water.
  • Bloat
    The swelling of the rumen of cattle, sheep or goats from fermentation of green food, particularly lush clover pastures, which causes respiratory distress and, in very rare cases, death (also see feedlot bloat).
  • Blue water
    Blue water is freshwater, surface or groundwater. Blue water is the water from lakes, streams, glaciers and snow.
  • Boar
    An un-castrated male pig.
  • Body condition score
    A system of measuring how thin or fat an animal is by reference to a standardized scale.
  • Branding
    Making a permanent mark on an animal using extreme heat or extreme cold. Some state laws require the identification of cattle by branding.
  • Breeding stock
    A group of animals used for the purpose of planned breeding.
  • Broiler
    A chicken bred and raised for meat.
  • Brooding
    The period from hatching until chicks no longer need a heat source for survival. Heat can be provided either by a broody hen or by a unit containing a controlled heat source called a brooder.
  • Browse
    Non-grass material eaten by goats to satisfy dietary requirements. Goats given a choice will obtain up to 50% of their feed inputs from browse. Browse is normally shrubby taller material. (Browsing: finding and eating browse)
  • Buck
    Male rabbit.
  • Bull
    An un-castrated male bovine animal.
  • Bunk feed
    Providing supplementary feed from a fixed trough.
  • CAFO
    Concentrated or Confined Animal Feeding Operation. See Confinement Feeding Operation Beef and Confinement Feeding Operation Pork
  • Caged systems
    Birds or animals are kept in confined spaces, which inherently reduce the space and freedom of movement of the bird or animal. These systems are prohibited under Animal Welfare Approved standards.
  • Calf
    A young bovine animal.
  • Cannibalism
    An abnormal behavior when pigs or poultry inflict injury and then consume blood or other tissues from others of the same species.
  • Cap carbon
    To maintain carbon in the soil.
  • Castration
    The removal or destruction of the testes.
  • Cattle
    A bovine animal. Those kept primarily for meat are called "beef cattle" while the animals kept primarily for producing milk are called "dairy cattle."
  • Caustic paste
    A chemical substance that destroys the cells in the horn bud of a young animal when topically applied, so that the horn does not grow further.
  • Chemical shearing
    Use of an injectable protein that causes all of the wool follicles on the sheep to break so the fleece drops off. This practice is prohibited under Animal Welfare Approved standards.
  • Chick
    A newly hatched chicken.
  • Chute
    Walkway designed for moving or loading animals.
  • Clipping teeth
    Piglets are born with teeth known as needle teeth. Some farmers grind, file or clip these when the piglets are newborn as they believe that otherwise the piglets will injure each other or the sow. This practice is prohibited under AGW standards. (Clipping (needle) teeth)
  • Cloned animals
    Identical offspring created by artificial genetic engineering.
  • Cold
    Conditions when animal comfort cannot be maintained by provision of suitable housing, shelter and/or bedding. AWA standards require the provision of heat in these circumstances.
  • Colony
    Individual birds of the same species living closely together. Within a larger flock there can be small groups.
  • Colostrum
    The milk produced by female mammals in the first days after giving birth. This milk has a higher fat content than normal milk and is particularly rich in proteins and antibodies. A young animal needs to receive sufficient colostrum so that it can acquire immunity.
  • Comb trimming
    Cutting the fleshy crest on the head of birds. This practice is prohibited under AGW standards.
  • Communal farrowing
    A system where sows have free access to both individual pens or huts where they can nest and give birth, and to a larger pen or barn area where they can interact with other sows in the group.
  • Communal nest box
    An area for birds to lay eggs that allows several birds to enter and lay at once.
  • Competent person
    Someone who has acquired the knowledge to safely and humanely carry out a specific task or operation.
  • Compliant
    Conforming to requirements or standards.
  • Cone
    A cone shaped restraining tool into which poultry can be placed immediately prior to stunning and slaughter to keep them still.
  • Confinement feeding
    The practice of raising farmed animals in confinement at a high stocking density. Animals do not have access to pasture or range and are raised on concrete, slats or bare earth.
  • Confinement feeding
    The practice of raising farmed animals in confinement at a high stocking density. Animals do not have access to pasture or range and are raised on concrete, slats or bare earth (Also see Feedlot).
  • Contract worker
    The differences between an employee and a contract worker can be subtle, but generally, an employee works full-time, part-time or casually and has to work as the employer directs them. A contract worker, on the other hand, works the hours required to do a task and has more control over the way they work.
  • Controlled Atmosphere Killing
    A process by which animals and birds are exposed to a mixture of gases in the air that, through breathing in, will kill the animals or birds.
  • Controlled Atmosphere Stunning
    A process by which animals and birds are exposed to a mixture of gases in the air that, through breathing in, will induce the animals or birds into unconsciousness.
  • Cooperative
    An organization formed by a group of farmers to achieve some or all of the advantages of large-scale marketing, purchasing and education. (agricultural)
  • Cornstover
    The dried remains of leaves and stalks after harvesting maize.
  • Cow
    A female bovine animal that has borne a calf.
  • Cow-calf operation
    The keeping of a breeding herd of cows and production of weaned calves.
  • Critically Non-Compliant
    A farm is CNC when at audit it is found not to comply with standards that are deemed critical to ensuring good welfare.
  • Crush
    A device specifically designed to hold an animal safely during a procedure that requires restraint of the animal.
  • Cubicle
    Partitioned compartment in a building, usually with a raised curb of a size that allows one dairy animal to enter and lie down.
  • Cull
    An unproductive or unsuitable animal or bird selected for removal from the herd or flock.
  • Culling
    Permanent removal of animals or birds from a herd or flock.
  • Cultivation
    Turning over, mixing, or otherwise plowing the soil. (Also see Inversion)
  • Daytime
    Daytime starts within 2 hours of sunrise and ends at sunset.
  • De-beaking
    The removal of part of the beak or bill of birds. This practice is prohibited under AGW standards. (see also de-billing, beak clipping, tipping and trimming)
  • De-billing
    The removal of part of the beak or bill of birds. This practice is prohibited under Animal Welfare Approved standards. (see also de-billing, beak clipping, tipping and trimming)
  • De-clawing
    The removal of the claws or toes of birds. This practice is prohibited under AGW standards. (see also De-toeing)
  • Dehorning
    The removal of an adult animal's horns (see also disbud). This practice is prohibited under AGW standards.
  • De-scenting
    Removing the scent glands near the base of the horns of male goats. This practice is prohibited under AGW standards.
  • De-snooding
    The removal of the snood or fleshy bit on the beaks of turkeys. This practice is prohibited under AGW standards.
  • De-spurring
    Removal of the spurs of male breeding birds. This practice is prohibited under AGW standards.
  • De-toeing
    The removal of the claws or toes of birds. This practice is prohibited under AGW standards. (see also De-clawing)
  • Debris
    Anything that would not naturally occur in the environment in which it is found. Debris could include scrap metal, garbage or fallen tree branches which could cause a risk to the animals.
  • Deforestation
    Clearing of virgin forests, or intentional destruction or removal of trees and other vegetation for agricultural, commercial, housing, or firewood use without replanting (reforesting) and without allowing time for the forest to regenerate itself. Adapted from:
  • Denuded
    A pasture or pen where the majority of the surface area is bare earth rather than vegetation.
  • Depopulation
    The removal of an entire herd or flock of animals from the farm or production system due to sale, slaughter or euthanasia.
  • Derives a share of livelihood
    The farmer receives income from the work carried out on the farm.
  • Derogation
    A considered allowance given in some instances when the welfare of the birds or animals is not compromised such that a farmer may be given permission to do something that falls outside the standards.
  • Desktop audit
    Where physical or digital information is reviewed remotely to ensure compliance with published standards. Note: this is an extreme situation and should not normally take the place of a physical audit. (See also: Audit, Remote Audit)
  • Dewlap
    Loose skin hanging from the lower jaw and/or throat area.
  • Disbud
    The removal of growing horns or the prevention of the growth of horn buds in young ruminants.
  • Disc ring
    A ring inserted into the top edge of the nose of the pig - the most sensitive area of the nose - in order to reduce or eliminate rooting behavior. This practice is prohibited under Animal Welfare Approved standards.
  • Distributor
    A facility that does not produce products but sells or distributes certified AGW product(s).
  • Double-muscling
    Animals deliberately bred to carry a particular gene that results in a visibly distinct overgrowth of muscle resulting from an increase in the number of muscle fibers relative to normal animals. Selection for double-muscling where this leads to routine cesarean section is prohibited.
  • Downed animals
    Animals unable to get on their feet.
  • Dry matter basis
    A system of comparing or calculating the intake of different feeds by assessing all as if they have zero moisture content. (Daily dry matter basis is the quantity provided or consumed in a 24 hour period.)
  • Dual purpose breeds
    Breeds of animals and birds that are productive in more than one area of food production, for example cattle raised for both meat and milk production and breeds of poultry considered capable of producing both meat and eggs.
  • Dual
    (production systems) A farming system that promotes some of its same species animal products under a certified system/label, while raising the remainder of its same species animals using non-certified practices. (See also split production system).
  • Duck
    Female of the species or a generic term for the species.
  • Duckling
    A newly hatched duck.
  • Dust bath
    A behavior pattern whereby birds dig themselves a hole in the ground and flick dirt over themselves as part of a routine to keep their feathers clean and eliminate mites and lice. (see also dust bathing)
  • Ear tagging
    Identification of an animal by inserting a plastic or metal tag into the ear which may have an individual number printed on it or may carry a radio frequency transponder.
  • Ecology
    Ecology is the study of interactions among living things and their environment. It provides new understanding of these vital systems as they are now, and how they may change in the future.
  • Economically sustainable
    Economic sustainability refers to practices that support long-term economic growth without negatively impacting social, environmental, and cultural aspects of the community.
  • Ecosystem
    The complex of living organisms, their physical environment, and all their interrelationships in a particular unit of space.
  • Educational purpose
    A farm that functions as a practical demonstration to promote and educate other farmers and/or the public about high animal welfare practices. Companies practicing dual production would be unable to use this derogation.
  • Electric cow trainer
    A device that is placed a few inches above a cow to prevent her from relieving herself if she is not far enough out on the platform of her stall by administering electric shock when she arches her back to urinate or defecate. This practice is prohibited under AGW standards.
  • Embryo transfer
    A process to remove a developing embryo from a donor mother for implantation into another recipient female. This practice is prohibited under AGW standards.
  • Endangered species
    An endangered species is a type of organism that is threatened by extinction. Species become endangered for two main reasons: loss of habitat and loss of genetic variation.
  • Environment
    The air, water, minerals, plants and animals and all other external factors that surround and affect a plant, animal or other life form.
  • Erosion
    Erosion is the gradual destruction and removal of rock or soil in a particular area by rivers, the sea, or the weather.
  • Estrus inducing substances
    The use of hormones to artificially manage the breeding cycle. The routine use of this practice is prohibited under AGW standards.
  • Euthanasia
    Ending the life of an animal humanely by using a method that produces rapid unconsciousness and subsequent death without evidence of pain or distress.
  • Ewe
    An adult female sheep.
  • Exceptionally high welfare
    A system that in the opinion of the standards board exemplifies or demonstrates welfare that has been recognized as an important example of its type.
  • Exsanguination
    Bleeding out of an animal or bird.
  • Extensive grazing
    A system where animals are kept with a large area of land available per animal and where animals may stay on one extensive grazing range for months at a time.
  • Fallen debris
    The remains of something broken down or destroyed, such as branches and leaves of a tree. (See also: Woody Debris)
  • Family farm
    A farm rented or owned on which a family or individual owns the animals, is responsible for management decisions and participates in the day to day labor to manage the farm operation and its animals, and derives a share of the family's or individual's livelihood from that farm.
  • Family farm networks
    Voluntary groupings among independent family farmers for a common sales and marketing benefit.
  • Farrow
    The process of a sow giving birth to a litter of piglets.
  • Farrowing crate
    A cage or other strictly enclosed space in which a sow is confined to give birth to and suckle her piglets and where the sow movements are restricted so she cannot turn around or otherwise have free movement. Crates are prohibited under Animal Welfare Approved standards.
  • Farrowing hut
    A hut in which a sow gives birth to and suckles her piglets.
  • Farrowing pen
    An enclosure in which a sow is kept to give birth to and suckle her piglets and in which she has freedom of movement within the pen.
  • Fattening period
    When an animal is being managed to be ready for slaughter and is laying down fat as well as muscle as it grows.
  • Feather pecking
    There is benign feather pecking, which may be part of the process of establishing a pecking order within the flock and should not be of major concern, and there is aggressive feather pecking where birds may be seriously hurting each other, leaving open bleeding wounds.
  • Feeder animal
    Animals being raised for meat which have been weaned but are not yet in the fattening period. (See also store animal.)
  • Feeding bunks
    Troughs usually constructed of concrete or wood that can be used to hold feed for cattle.
  • Feedlot
    The practice of raising farmed animal in confinement at a high stocking density. Animals do not have access to pasture or range and are raised on concrete, slats or bare earth (Also see Confinement Feeding).
  • Feedlot bloat
    The swelling of the rumen of cattle, sheep or goats from fermentation of diets with high levels of grain which causes respiratory distress and regularly kills thousands of cattle per year.
  • Fertility
    Soil fertility is the capacity to receive, store and transmit energy to support plant growth. It is the component of overall soil productivity that deals with its available nutrient status, and its ability to provide nutrients out of its own reserves and through external applications for crop production.
  • Fertilizer
    An organic or inorganic material of natural or synthetic origin used to supply one or more nutrients essential to the growth of plants. This does not include liming materials.
  • Filing
    (needle teeth) Piglets are born with teeth known as needle teeth. Some farmers grind, file or clip these when the piglets are newborn as they believe that otherwise the piglets will injure each other or the sow. This practice is prohibited under AGW standards.
  • Fill dirt
    Soil used for filling, that is, found within or contemporaneously placed within a cavity, or a supply of soil for use as fill.
  • Financial planning
    Financial planning is the process of estimating the capital required and determining its competition. It is the process of framing financial policies in relation to procurement, investment and administration of funds of an enterprise.
  • Financial Separation
    Separate financial records must be kept for AWA and non-AWA livestock. These must be clear, distinct and enable the auditor to identify sales and invoices for the separate AWA and non-AWA units.
  • Finishing
    When an animal is the right weight and has the right amount of fat cover to go to slaughter for meat it is considered to be "finished".
  • Finishing systems
    The methods the farmer uses to bring animals to finish.
  • First aid equipment
    Collections of life saving equipment that are used by paramedic staff in cases of emergency to increase the life of a victim until a time when the injured can be transferred to a permanent hospital facility.
  • Flock
    A collection or group of animals or birds.
  • Flooring
    The natural or artificial ground surface area in housing, handling and enclosed shelter areas used by birds and animals. Natural flooring would include the ground or pasture surface. Artificial flooring would include wood or concrete.
  • Fly strike
    The infestation of a live animal with the maggot or larvae of a fly - usually on a sheep or lamb. Eggs are laid on areas soiled with urine or feces and the larvae then hatch and tunnel into the living tissue causing infection which if left untreated can cause death.
  • Forage
    Crops consumed in a green state by animals or those crops preserved by drying or ensiling, but it can also mean to rummage in search of food.
  • Forb
    Forbs are herbaceous (not woody), broadleaf plants that are not grass-like.
  • Forced molting
    Bringing birds into molt artificially, which is usually done by restricting feed and sometimes water, in order to control and boost the laying cycle. This practice is prohibited under AGW standards.
  • Forced or involuntary labor
    Forced labor is any work or service which people are forced to do against their will, under threat of punishment. Almost all slavery practices contain some element of forced labor. Adapted from:
  • Foster cow
    A cow that is rearing a calf she not give birth to.
  • Free range
    A system of keeping animals and birds where they can run free on pastures and ranging areas. Note: This is the Animal Welfare Approved definition of free range, the USDA definition does not necessarily mean that animals are on pasture.
  • Free stall
    Stall partitions the cows can enter and exit at will.
  • Freedom to associate
    Freedom of association is one of the most basic rights enjoyed by humans. It ensures that every individual is free to organize and to form and participate in groups, either formally or informally.
  • Freeze branding
    A form of permanent identification using a super-cold iron that alters the color producing pigment cells in the animal's hide so that white or colorless hair grows wherever the iron was placed.
  • Friable
    Material that is crumbly or easily broken with finger or hand pressure into small fragments (of litter or bedding).
  • Fugitive dust
    Fugitive dust is particulate matter (particle pollution) that becomes airborne from activities such as construction, commercial mining, demolition and soil erosion from wind. fugitive dust is an open, or nonpoint, source of air pollution since it does not originate from a specific source such as a stack, chimney or vent. Under certain conditions, fugitive dust can be a public nuisance and may be harmful to human health. It is, therefore, a regulated pollutant that must be minimized.
  • Full-time employee
    The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not define full-time employment. The employer typically determines the number of hours to be worked in order to reach full-time, but in general, it typically ranges between 32 hours to 40 hours in a work-week.
  • Further Processor
    A facility that processes, packages or labels a product that contains ingredient(s) currently certified by AGW or eligible for AGW certification.
  • Gait scoring
    A system measuring how well an animal or bird moves and whether or not an animal or bird is lame by reference to the scale.
  • Genetic selection
    The deliberate selection of animals or birds in a breeding program.
  • Genetically engineered
    The group of applied techniques of genetics and biotechnology used to cut up and join together genetic material and especially DNA from one or more species of organism and to introduce the result into an organism in order to change one or more of its characteristics.
  • Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)
    An organism whose genome has been artificially altered through biotechnology to express traits that would not naturally occur as a result of traditional breeding or natural recombination. Scientific methods used to produce GMOs include reproductive cloning.
  • Gestation crate
    Cage or stall in which a sow is confined for the period of pregnancy and in which she has restricted options of movement. Crates are prohibited under the AGW standards.
  • Gilt
    A young female pig that has not produced a litter.
  • Gizzard
    The muscular stomach of a bird in which food is ground up.
  • Glue boards
    A tray or board coated in a sticky adhesive that captures and immobilizes rodents on contact.
  • Goggles
    Device attached to a bird's beak to make it harder for them to see each other. This practice is prohibited under AGW standards.
  • Good collection practices
    Good collection practices are a set of principles, regulations and technical recommendations applicable to collection (harvest), processing and food transport, addressing human health care, environment, protection and improvement of worker conditions and their families.
  • Good faith attempt
    An implied contractual term defined as "what a reasonable person would determine is a diligent and honest effort under the same set of facts or circumstances."
  • Good standing
    Status of a business (farm or slaughter plant) which has been audited or reviewed within the required schedule and is in compliance with all applicable AGW standards OR has an approved corrective action plan, the conditions and timelines of which are being met. Businesses must not have taken any action since their last review or audit that could affect compliance with applicable AGW standards and must not have been found guilty of any animal welfare offenses. For farms, compliance with AWA standards includes using AWA recommended slaughter plants.
  • Grassland
    An area where grasses and forbs (non-woody, flowering plants) are the dominant type of plant cover.
  • Green water
    Green water is soil moisture that came from precipitation.
  • Grey water
    Grey water is polluted water which has not been in contact with fecal matter. It can be the product of domestic bathing, laundry, dishwashing, or water polluted by agricultural inputs.
  • Grievances
    The dissatisfaction of worker with what he expects from the company and its management. An employee grievance is caused when there is a gap between what the employee expects and what he receives from the employer. Adapted from:
  • Grinding
    (needle teeth) Piglets are born with teeth known as needle teeth. Some farmers grind, file or clip these when the piglets are newborn as they believe that otherwise the piglets will injure each other or the sow. This practice is prohibited under AGW standards.
  • Grit
    Small fragments of various substances fed to poultry, including soluble grit, to balance calcium lost by egg laying birds, and insoluble grit, such as flint, to assist the gizzard in grinding food.
  • Ground water
    The water beneath the surface of the ground, consisting largely of surface water that has seeped down: the source of water in springs and wells.
  • Growth promoters
    A substance included in an animal or bird's feed which improves feed conversion and /or increases daily weight gain. Antibiotics can act as growth promoters. Growth promoters are prohibited under Animal Welfare Approved standards.
  • Growth rate
    How fast an animal or bird grows that can be expressed as daily live weight gain or average live weight gain.
  • Hatchery
    The premises devoted to hatching eggs.
  • Health plan
    A structured and proactive plan assessing the health status of birds or animals on a farm and giving information on steps to preempt, treat, eliminate or reduce any disease or disease risks.
  • Heavy Metals
    Toxic metals including lead, mercury, cadmium, and chromium. The metals iron, copper, zinc, aluminum, beryllium, cobalt, manganese and arsenic are also considered heavy metals by AGW.
  • Heifer
    A young female bovine animal that has not yet had a calf.
  • Hen
    A female fowl.
  • Herbaceous matter
    Low growing non-woody perennial plants.
  • Herd
    A group of animals living together -particularly refers to cattle- that most likely have been put together for management purposes.
  • Herding canine
    A canine (dog) that by genetic predisposition and through proper training, possesses the skills to move animals effectively and humanely with minimal physical contact (See also: Working dog).
  • High risk
    Products that are genetically modified and grown on a large scale. High-risk products include crops that are commonly found in food products and animal feeds, either as the harvested crop or as a by-product.  
  • High welfare practices
    Practices to ensure that animals can exhibit their natural behaviors; have suitable feed and water; are not subject to discomfort, pain, injury and disease and are not subject to fear and stress.
  • Holding
    The area of land or property owned or controlled by the applicant or certified person.
  • Hole punching
    Punching a hole in the area between the toes of poultry for identification purposes. This practice is prohibited under AGW standards.
  • Homeopathy
    A system of healing by using incredibly dilute solutions of substances that in full strength would cause similar symptoms to the disease being treated.
  • Hot branding
    A method of identifying an animal by burning a mark onto its hide with a hot iron.
  • Hot iron cauterization
    Removing the horn buds of cattle and goats using a hot iron, a tool that is heated then applied to the bud.
  • Hot prod
    Handheld object also known as 'electric prod' and 'hot shot' used to administer an electric shock when an animal is touched with it. This practice is prohibited under AGW standards.
  • Housing
    A building with a roof and four walls that can also be used as a shelter. (See also shelter.)
  • Humane
    Raising animals with kindness, consideration, according to their needs, and without cruelty.
  • Husbandry
    The care and management of the farm and its animals.
  • Hygienic working environment
    A clean working environment. Basic Hygiene in the workplace can be boiled down to four different things: personal hygiene; work area cleanliness; clean restroom facilities; and a clean kitchen.
  • Immunocastration
    The use of a vaccine which affects hormone development to delay the sexual development of male pigs. This practice is prohibited under Animal Welfare Approved standards.
  • Impacts to the ecosystem
    Altering the components or interconnected processes of the ecosystem.
  • Implanted hormones
    Artificial hormones implanted under the skin of the animal that give a constant slow release. This practice is prohibited under Animal Welfare Approved standards.
  • Incubator
    A specialized machine designed to hatch eggs by providing consistent specific temperature and humidity. Normally 2 machines or separate compartments: the Setter, used for the first 18 days with movement to replicate the mother hen exiting and returning to the nest and ensure equal embryo development, and the Hatcher, used for the last three days keeping the eggs still and supplying a higher humidity for hatching.
  • Input
    Guidance or advice that may be considered but is not required.
  • Insensible
    Without feeling or consciousness. [also insentient]
  • Insentient
    Without feeling or consciousness. [also insensible]
  • Instinctive behavior
    Something an animal or bird is motivated to do and does without being taught.
  • Integrated pest management
    (IPM) The careful consideration of all available pest control techniques and subsequent integration of appropriate measures that discourage the development of pest populations and keep pesticides and other interventions to levels that are economically justified and reduce or minimize risks to human health and the environment. IPM emphasizes the growth of a healthy crop with the least possible disruption to agroecosystems and encourages natural pest control mechanisms.
  • Interdigital infections
    Infections that occur between the two cleats or parts of a cow or sheep's foot.
  • Interval feeding
    Feed regimes whereby double feed may be given on some days and no feed at all given on others. [also known as skip a day feeding]
  • Invasive species
    An invasive species can be any kind of living organism—an amphibian (like the cane toad), plant, insect, fish, fungus, bacteria, or even an organism’s seeds or eggs—that is not native to an ecosystem and causes harm.
  • Inversion
    Turning over, mixing, or otherwise plowing the soil. (See also Cultivation)
  • Ionophores
    A type of chemical compound used as an antibiotic or growth promoter.
  • Irreversible unconsciousness
    A state of brain death from which the bird or animal cannot recover consciousness.
  • Johnes disease
    An infectious wasting condition of cattle and other ruminants for which there is no treatment.
  • Kid
    A young goat.
  • Lamb
    A young sheep, or the process of a ewe giving birth to lambs.
  • Laying hens
    Birds producing eggs.
  • Leg hold trap
    A trap with a mechanism that catches and holds an animal by its legs.
  • Lethal control
    The targeted killing of a specific wild animal.
  • Licensed hunter
    A hunter with the appropriate permits to carry a particular weapon and hunt a particular type of animal at a time of year when this is permitted.
  • Liquefaction
    Deliberately adding liquid to manure to enable liquid application. (Dairy solids and wash water may be stored in the same container.)
  • Liquid manure systems
    Where manure and urine are collected in pits or lagoons, often directly underneath the pens in which animals are living. The resulting liquid manure or slurry requires special handling and is usually treated by containment in lagoons before disposal by spraying or trickle application to grassland. This practice is prohibited under AGW standards.
  • Liquid pollution
    Pollution from liquid sources, such as, engine oil, gasoline, radiator fluids, or hydraulic fluids.
  • Litter
    Bedding for livestock, or the reference to a group of animals born to a female at one time.
  • Litter
    Bedding for livestock, or the reference to a group of animals born to a female at one time.
  • Live trap
    A device constructed to capture an animal by enclosing it.
  • Livestock guardian animal
    A domesticated animal, which by breed or temperament serves to protect livestock from wildlife, especially predators.
  • Livestock guardian dog
    A type of canine animal bred for the purpose of protecting livestock from predators (See also Working Dog).
  • Living wage
    A wage that is earned in a standard working week of up to 48 hours, which is sufficient to cover basic needs including food, shelter, education, transport, healthcare and a small amount of savings for contingencies for a family.
  • Loafing area
    An area distinct from the lying area within, where the animal has free movement and can interact with other animals. Note, this area may not be bedded but the lying area must be.
  • Local area
    Areas within 150 miles of the holding.
  • Local community
    A group of individuals that interact within their immediate surroundings. A typical local community consists of business operators, public agency staff and residents, and their interactions can include the sharing of resources, information and assistance, as well as the establishment of commercial relationships between local businesses and consumers.
  • Look out position
    When a rabbit sits upright on its hind legs with its ears pricked.
  • Low risk
    Products for which no genetically modified version is known and where there is no known risk of cross-contamination with other GMO crops.
  • Low VOC paint
    Paints that are low (fewer than 50 grams per liter) in volatile organic compounds.
  • Lux
    A measure of the intensity of light.
  • Maltreatment
    See abuse.
  • Mange
    A skin disease caused by blood-sucking mites.
  • Manger
    A trough for feed.
  • Manipulable
    Possible to move or arrange.
  • Marginalized groups
    Persons outside the dominant social group, including people with disabilities, youth, women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, members of minority groups, indigenous people, internally displaced persons, and non-national, including refugees, asylum seekers and migrant workers.
  • Mastitis
    Inflammation of an animal’s udder due to bacterial infection.
  • Meat chickens
    See broiler.
  • Milk replacers
    A substitute for fresh milk usually presented as a powder to be mixed with water for feeding animals that have not been weaned.
  • Minimum tillage practices
    A soil conservation system with the goal of minimum soil manipulation (not turning the soil over, as in ploughing) necessary for a successful crop production. (Also see Infrequent Tilling)
  • Mitigate
    Mitigation is the process of addressing impacts to the environment caused by human action — and follows a hierarchy. First, negative environmental impacts should be avoided, for instance by re-siting the project to a more suitable location. If relocation is not feasible, science-strong measures should be deployed to minimize harms. Finally, if environmental impacts are inevitable, there should be appropriate compensation.
  • Moderate risk
    Products where the only genetically modified versions are used solely in controlled/laboratory conditions and are not in commercial use and where there is a known risk of cross-contamination with other GMO crops.
  • Molt
    The process of shedding feathers to renew plumage.
  • Morbidity
    The percentage or proportion of a herd or flock that becomes affected by a particular disease.
  • Mortality
    The percentage or proportion of a herd or flock that die.
  • Mulesing
    Removal of strips of skin on the hindquarters of a sheep.
  • Must
    A standard has to be adhered to as directed.
  • Mutually agreed terms
    Under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the concept of Mutually Agreed Terms means that the access to genetic resources and the sharing of resulting benefits among the parties (the contracting country, as represented by its competent authority, and the party using the genetic resources) must be regulated by a contractual agreement. (Source: CBD Art. 15 (2), (4), and (7)).
  • Nagoya Protocol
    A supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity. It provides a Transparent legal framework for the effective implementation of one of the three objectives of the CBD: the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. See:
  • Natural weaning
    Allowing a young animal to remain with the mother until nursing stops naturally.
  • Nest box
    A secluded area where laying hens can go to produce eggs.
  • Non-compliant
    Failing to meet the applicable AGW standards.
  • Non-indigenous
    Animals not originally found within the ecosystem of the United States and directly or indirectly spread by human activity.
  • Non-point pollution
    Pollution that comes from excess fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides or manure from agricultural land. Non-point pollution may wash or erode off the field or farm such that it pollutes other land or water sources.
  • Non-target plant species
    Plant species which are not intended to be wild harvested for use or sale.
  • Non-therapeutic
    Administering treatment (antibiotics) when animals or birds are not sick or injured for the purpose of promoting growth or overcoming disease challenges that are inherent in the system of management. For example, cattle on feedlots may be given non-therapeutic treatments to try to prevent illness from liver damage due to the type of diet they are fed. This practice is prohibited under AGW standards.
  • Nose-flap device
    An insert placed in the nostrils of a calf that stops it from suckling its mother. See also two- step weaning process.
  • Not Approved
    Has not met the requirements of the applicable AGW program.
  • Not Known to Program
    A farm that has not applied to AGW.
  • Notching
    Cutting the ears of pigs, sheep or cattle to permanently identify them.
  • Old-growth
    Old-Growth trees are part of a forest that has attained great age without significant disturbance and thereby exhibits unique ecological features and might be classified as a climax community. Old-Growth features include diverse tree-related structures that provide diverse wildlife habitat that increases the biodiversity of the forested ecosystems. The specific age definition attained of old-growth trees can vary depending on the type of tree and location, but it is usually 120 years and up (Also see primary forest).
  • Operational Separation
    The AWA and non-AWA unit must function as a separate unit. Livestock must be identifiable on an individual basis. Equipment for forage production and moving livestock can be shared. Separation of feeds must be clearly demonstrated. Staff working on the AWA unit must be able to demonstrate an understanding of the requirements of these standards. Training records must be kept for the audit.
  • Organic matter
    Soil organic matter is the fraction of the soil that consists of plant or animal tissue in various stages of breakdown (decomposition). Most of our productive agricultural soils have between 3 and 6% organic matter. Adapted from:
  • Organophosphates
    A group of synthetic chemicals mainly used as insecticides that has a detrimental impact on the nervous system.
  • Ottawa crate
    A type of farrowing crate that uses sloping bars to limit the area where the sow can lie, but that does give her the ability to turn round. The use of crates is prohibited under AGW standards.
  • Over-sized litter
    When the number of piglets is larger than the mother can care for.
  • Paddock
    A fenced/delineated unit of pasture as defined by the farmer.
  • Particulate Matter
    (PM) A mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. Some particles, such as dust, dirt, soot, or smoke, are large or dark enough to be seen with the naked eye. Others are so small they can only be detected using an electron microscope. Particle pollution includes:   PM10 : inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 10 micrometers and smaller; and   PM2.5 : fine inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller.
  • Pasture
    Land covered with vegetation suitable for grazing or foraging by farm animals. (Also see range.)
  • Pasture-rotation
    Method of maintaining vegetative growth and animal health by planned movement of animals from one area to another.
  • Peat Harvesting
    Peat, fuel consisting of spongy material formed by the partial decomposition of organic matter, primarily plant material, in wetlands such as swamps, muskegs, bogs, fens, and moors. Given that peat harvesting is destructive to wetland habitats, its use for commercial trade is discouraged.
  • Perch
    Support consisting of a branch or rod that serves as a resting place for birds.
  • Permanent pasture
    Permanent grassland and permanent pasture (together referred to as “permanent grassland”) means land used to grow grasses or other herbaceous forage naturally (self-seeded) or through cultivation (sown) and that has not been included in the crop rotation of the holding for five years or more; it may include other species which can be grazed provided that the grasses and other herbaceous forage remain predominant.
  • Personal Protection Equipment
    (PPE) Personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as "PPE", is equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. These injuries and illnesses may result from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards. Personal protective equipment may include items such as gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits. Adapted from:
  • Pesticides
    Categories of toxic chemicals including herbicides, fungides, insecticides and rodenticides.
  • Physical Separation
    The facility used for AWA animals must be distinct and separate from the non-AWA animals. There must not be a mosaic of pens, buildings and land used for AWA and non-AWA livestock. Separation must be clear and distinct.
  • Physiological well-being:
    A state whereby the animal is kept not just with an absence of disease but in a state of positive health with the ability to express natural behaviors.
  • Piglet
    Young pig.
  • Pinioning
    The act of surgically removing the joint of a bird's wing farthest from the body to prevent flight. This practice is prohibited under AGW standards.
  • Planned
    Something is planned when there is an intention to carry out an action, and a decision about what steps will be taken to achieve this.
  • Plant Protection Products
    Substances, including pesticides, that protect crops or desirable or useful plants. They are primarily used in the agricultural sector but also in forestry, horticulture, amenity areas and in-home gardens. They contain at least one active substance and have one of the following functions: Protect plants or plant products against pests/diseases, before or after harvest; Influence the life processes of plants (such as substances influencing their growth, excluding nutrients); Preserve plant products; Destroy or prevent growth of undesired plants or parts of plants. They may also contain other components including safeners and synergists.
  • Poaching
    Taking and/or killing livestock without consent.
  • Polled breeds
    Naturally horn-free breed.
  • Pooled product
    Mingling of products or animals of individual producers into a single lot.
  • Potable drinking water
    Potable water is water of a quality suitable for drinking, cooking and personal bathing.
  • Poult
    A young turkey.
  • Predator
    An animal that hunts, kills, and eats other animals in order to survive.
  • Predator control
    The act of removing, excluding or euthanizing wildlife that are or could be in conflict with farm or ranch livestock.
  • Prescribed burning
    Prescribed burning is the process of planning and applying fire to a predetermined area, under specific environmental conditions, to achieve a desired outcome.
  • Primary forest
    A forest that has never been logged (Also see Old Growth).
  • Prior informed consent
    Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) is a specific right that pertains to indigenous peoples and is recognized in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). It allows them to give or withhold consent to a project that may affect them or their territories. Once they have given their consent, they can withdraw it at any stage. Furthermore, FPIC enables them to negotiate the conditions under which the project will be designed, implemented, monitored and evaluated.  This is also embedded within the universal right to self-determination.
  • Processing
    Transforming raw ingredients into food.
  • Producer
    The individual or entity that owns the animals and products thereof.
  • Producer group
    Individual producers who agree to cooperatively pool their products.
  • Prohibited input
    Prohibited inputs are defined as products not permitted for use in Certified Regenerative farming.
  • Properly composted
    Waste material to be composted must be mixed with other material as needed to achieve a suitable carbon and nitrogen balance. Temperature in the compost heap should reach at least 131 degrees F (550C) and be maintained throughout the pile for at least three consecutive days. Compost windrows are turned as required to facilitate the breakdown of composted products. Waste is properly composted when it is totally degraded and compost has a consistent texture and appearance.
  • Pullets
    Young female chickens being raised as laying hens.
  • Qualified expert
    A person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of the subject for which their expertise is sought. Qualified experts must not be suspended from or have been subject to any disciplinary action from any relevant professional body.
  • Ram
    An un-castrated male sheep.
  • Range
    Land covered with vegetation suitable for grazing or foraging by farm animals. (See also pasture.)
  • Recommended
    The standard should be adhered to, however variations will be accepted as long as the goal of animal welfare is not jeopardized.
  • Regenerative agriculture
    A set of planned agricultural practices that ensure the holding is not depleted by agriculture practices, and over time the soil, water, air and biodiversity are improved or maintained to the greatest extent possible.
  • Regenerative plan
    A roadmap designed by the farmer with or without help from subject matter experts outlining the actions and activities the farmer will undertake to manage and maintain the holding in accordance with CR Principles. Areas covered in the Regenerative Plan include: (nine principles) and plans, maps, baseline measurements, risk assessments and all information necessary to document adherence to the plan.
  • Regular worker
    An employee who is hired into a position with a predetermined duration of six months or greater and is budgeted for at least 40 hours per pay period.
  • Remote audit
    An audit carried out using technology that would replace the need for a trained individual to attend the location. (See also: Audit, Desktop Audit)
  • Required
    A standard has to be adhered to as directed.
  • Rescue animals
    Animals taken onto farms when they have either suffered harm or would be at risk of harm if not re-homed. Cull animals from other farms are not rescue animals.
  • Responsible Lending/Borrowing
    Lending and borrowing practices that require reasonable inquiries and responsible steps to verify information to make assessments about whether a contract will be suitable. In making such an assessment, it is essential that the consumer must have the capacity to repay the loan without experiencing substantial hardship.
  • Review
    An assessment of current practice against a set of guidelines with the intent of instituting change where necessary.
  • Rooster
    Male chicken.
  • Roosting
    Birds who are perching or resting.
  • Rotational grazing
    See pasture rotation.
  • Rumen
    The first of four stomachs of a ruminant, such as a cow or a sheep.
  • Runoff
    The quantity of water discharged in surface streams. Runoff includes not only the waters that travel over the land surface and through channels to reach a stream but also interflow, the water that infiltrates the soil surface and travels by means of gravity toward a stream channel (always above the main groundwater level) and eventually empties into the channel. Runoff also includes groundwater that is discharged into a stream; streamflow that is composed entirely of groundwater is termed base flow, or fair-weather runoff, and it occurs where a stream channel intersects the water table.
  • Safe working environment
    Describes policies and procedures in place to ensure the safety and health of employees within a workplace. Involves hazard identification and control according to government standards and ongoing safety training and education for employees.
  • Scope
    The addition or subtraction of the number of species on a farm that are approved by AGW.
  • Septum nose ring
    A ring that is inserted into the cartilage that separates the nostrils.
  • Sequential individual feeding
    A feeding system where only one animal can eat at a time.
  • Sewage sludge
    Sewage sludge refers to the solids separated during the treatment of municipal wastewater. The definition includes domestic septage.
  • Shackling
    Restraining live poultry at the slaughterhouse by suspending them upside down by their legs from metal hangers.
  • Shearing
    The removal of fleece from a sheep.
  • Shelter
    Something that gives animals protection either via natural features such as trees or artificial structures like buildings or shades, however, it will not necessarily provide the same level of protection as housing.
  • Should
    The standard should be adhered to, however variations will be accepted as long as the goal of animal welfare is not jeopardized.
  • Showing
    Temporary removal of animals from the approved farm for the purposes of competition, demonstration or education.
  • Shows
    Temporary removal of animals from the approved farm for the purposes of competition, demonstration or education.
  • Shows and showing
    Temporary removal of animals from the approved farm for the purposes of competition, demonstration or education.
  • Sites
    Points or areas on the holding.
  • Skip a day feeding
    See interval feeding.
  • Slash and burn farming/agriculture
    A method of cultivation in which forests are burned and cleared for planting.  The ash provides some fertilization, and the plot is relatively free of weeds. After several years of cultivation, fertility declines and weeds increase. Slash-and-burn agriculture is often used by tropical-forest root-crop farmers in various parts of the world and by dry-rice cultivators of the forested hill country of Southeast Asia. Adapted from:
  • Slatted flooring
    Flooring that has gaps or spaces in it to allow manure and other material to pass through.
  • Slaughter
    Causing the death of animals.
  • Snare
    A trap for catching birds or animals comprised of a noose of wire, cord or other material.
  • Social hierarchy
    Where each individual in a group has a rank, for example the pecking order in chickens where less dominant birds will defer to those higher up in rank.
  • Soil compaction
    The reduction of soil volume due to external factors; this reduction lowers soil productivity and environmental quality.
  • Soil sterilization
    A chemical or physical process that results in the death of soil organisms. This control method affects many organisms, even though the elimination of only specific weeds, fungi, bacteria, viruses, nematodes, or pests is desirable.
  • Soil structure
    Soil structure is the arrangement of pores and fissures (porosity) within a matrix of solid materials (soil particles and organic matter). The solid materials bond and aggregate to give the pores and fissures. The quantity, distribution and arrangement of pores determines water holding capacity, infiltration, permeability, root penetration, and, respiration. Adapted from THE ROLE OF SOIL ORGANISMS ON SOIL STABILITY; (A REVIEW). INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CURRENT LIFE SCIENCES. 4. 10328-. Hesammi, Einallah & Farshidi, Ali & Sadatebrahimi, Farhan & Talebi, Ali. (2014).
  • Solarization
    Solarization is a hydrothermal process for disinfestation of soil. It is currently accomplished by incubating soil under Transparent or black plastic film (primarily polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride=PVC) during hot months with minimal cloud cover, thus producing a "greenhouse effect" which raises soil temperature to levels which are lethal or injurious to many plant pathogens and pests.
  • Source farm
    A source farm is approved to raise and sell animals to other AGW farms.
  • Sow
    An adult female pig that has produced at least one litter.
  • Spaying
    The process of removing the ovaries of a female animal to prevent her from breeding. This practice is prohibited under AGW standards.
  • Species-rich permanent pasture
    Species-rich grasslands are usually unimproved grasslands that have not been ploughed, fertilized or re-sown in recent years. They provide a habitat for a great variety of small herbs and grasses that cannot thrive in improved swards, as well as for invertebrates, birds and small mammals. Species-rich grasslands have declined dramatically since the second world war and now survive as small and isolated remnants of a habitat that was once widespread.
  • Split
    (production system) A farming system that promotes some of its same species animal products under a certified system/label, while raising the remainder of its same species animals using non-certified practices. (See also dual production system.)
  • Squeeze Chute
    A narrow cage for the temporary restraint of an animal for the purposes of checking identification, carrying out treatment, etc., while keeping the animal still and the farm workers safe.
  • Statutory environment
    Those measures controlled, decided or required by law.
  • Steward
    A person whose job it is to take care of a holding.
  • Stock
    Animals kept for commercial purposes on farm.
  • Stockyard
    An enclosure for the keeping of livestock, sometimes associated with the sale of animals and slaughter.
  • Store animal
    Animals being raised for meat that have been weaned but are not yet in the fattening period. (See also feeder.)
  • Stress
    A physical and mental state of strain or suspense that can impact an animal”s overall health, behavior and quality of the food product, stress is known to act as an immunosuppressant.
  • Stun
    The action of rendering animals insensible and unconscious prior to slaughter.
  • Subcutaneous Radio Frequency Identification
    Implantation under the skin of an animal with a microchip that contains details of the individual animal. The information on the microchip can be accessed by a hand held reader without having to necessarily catch and restrain the animal.
  • Subsidiary
    A site where AGW animals are managed other than the main address listed for the farm whether owned or rented.  
  • Sulpha drugs
    A group of antibiotics that all contain sulpha.
  • Supernumerary teats
    Teats that are additional to the usual number of teats found on a cow (4), sheep (2) or goat (2). Can sometimes produce milk but more often are not fully formed and can obstruct milking.
  • Sustainable
    AGW believes that “sustainable,” when used in terms of food and agriculture, refers to food production and distribution systems which work in harmony with the natural environment and make the most efficient use of limited natural resources; which ensure high animal welfare standards; which provide a fair and secure income for farming families and workers; and which provide high quality, nutritious and reasonably priced goods to consumers. Truly sustainable production systems satisfy the food needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Note: When used as a food label the term is currently unregulated and undefined, so it is important to seek the specific definition from the person and/or company making the claim.
  • Synthetic Fertilizer
    (Adopted from 7 CFR 205.2) A substance that is formulated or manufactured by a chemical process or by a process that chemically changes a substance extracted from naturally occurring plant, animal, or mineral sources, except that such term shall not apply to substances created by naturally occurring biological processes.  
  • Tail docking
    The removal of all or part of the tail. This practice is prohibited under AGW standards, however sheep farmers who meet all other AGW standards may apply for a derogation to this standard while they work towards the goal of no tail docking.
  • Target species
    Target species are species specifically chosen for wild-harvesting and/or monitoring.
  • Temporary worker
    An employment situation where an employee is expected to remain in position only for a certain period of time.
  • Tether/tethering
    To tie or tie up an animal using a rope, chain or similar restraint.
  • Therapeutic levels
    Targeted antibiotics used to cure sick animals.
  • Thermal stress
    Stress experienced when an animal is kept at temperatures higher or lower than it can comfortably tolerate.
  • Threatened species
    A species likely, in the near future, to become an endangered species within all or much of its range.
  • Thrive
    A state whereby the bird or animal is able to prosper in terms of physiological well-being.
  • Tie stall
    An area where an animal is restrained for varying lengths of time.
  • Timely
    The appropriate length of time required to decide or act upon a given situation depending on the occasion.
  • Tipped horns
    Removal of the very end of the horns of cattle and sheep, without cutting into the blood vessels or quick.
  • Topsoil removal
    There is no legal definition of the word topsoil, but it is generally the top layer of native soil where most plant growth occurs.
  • Traditional knowledge
    Traditional knowledge refers to the knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities around the world. Developed from experience gained over the centuries and adapted to the local culture and environment, traditional knowledge is transmitted orally from generation to generation. It tends to be collectively owned and takes the form of stories, songs, folklore, proverbs, cultural values, beliefs, rituals, community laws, local language, and agricultural practices, including the development of plant species and animal breeds. Sometimes it is referred to as an oral traditional for it is practiced, sung, danced, painted, carved, chanted and performed down through millennia. traditional knowledge is mainly of a practical nature, particularly in such fields as agriculture, fisheries, health, horticulture, forestry and environmental management in general.
  • Traditional use rights
    The right to use biodiversity for indigenous and cultural practices.
  • Transparent manner
    Being open and informative about key points of information.
  • Two step weaning
    A process for weaning calves in two stages where the first step keeps the calves with their mothers but stops them from suckling – although they can still graze and drink water – by fitting them with a nose flap and as a second step, calves are separated from their mothers and the nose flaps taken out.
  • Vaccine
    A preparation given to an animal so that the animal produces antibodies in sufficient number to protect itself should it be exposed to that particular disease.
  • Vertical integration
    The process in which several steps in the production and/or distribution of the animal production chain is controlled by a single company.
  • Video Auction
    A sale where cattle are sold from farm to farm, with the buyer “viewing” the animals via a video recording. Cattle could not be taken to a sale barn either before or after the sale. They must be shipped direct from the seller's farm to the purchaser's farm.
  • Waste-stream biofuels
    Waste biomass, such as from food waste, can be used to produce fuels (such as biofuels). These biofuels can be used to generate energy can decrease waste management problems, pollution, greenhouse gaseous emissions and the use of fossil fuels. There is a huge potential for bioenergy obtained from waste to decrease the speed of global warming.
  • Water quality
    Water quality refers to the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of both water and sediment. Our understanding of how these water quality parameters behave is integral to our management of their effects.
  • Water table
    The water table is the boundary between the unsaturated zone and the saturated zone underground. Below the water table, groundwater fills any spaces between sediments and within rock.
  • Watercourse
    The channel that a flowing body of water follows.
  • Wattle trimming
    The trimming of the fleshy skin beneath the throat of some birds. This practice is prohibited under AGW standards.
  • Weaning
    The removal of young mammals from milk and/or transition from milk to a solid food as a source of nutrition.
  • Well water
    A water well is an excavation or structure created in the ground by digging, driving, boring, or drilling to access groundwater in underground aquifers.
  • Wild animal
    An animal that is living in nature without human control or care: not tame.
  • Wild harvesting
    The harvesting of wild plants to consume, sell or make into saleable products.
  • Woody debris
    The remains of something broken down or destroyed, such as branches and leaves of a tree. (See also: Fallen Debris)
  • Worker discipline
    Discipline is the regulation and modulation of human activities to produce a controlled performance.
  • Worker discrimination
    Discrimination happens when a person, or a group of people, is treated less favorably than another person or group because of their background or certain personal characteristics. It is also Discrimination when an unreasonable rule or policy applies to everyone but has the effect of disadvantaging some people because of a personal characteristic they share. Adapted from:
  • Working dog
    A type of canine animal bred and trained for various farm tasks, including herding. (See also: Herding Canine; Livestock Guardian Dog.)
  • Working group
    Collaboration of stakeholders (i.e. farmers, consumers, etc) that works to research, advise on standards, and decide on actions to solve a problem or resolve an issue.
  • Working zones
    The soil zones affected by agricultural disturbance.
  • Worms
    Internal parasites.
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