The American Meat Institute Foundation (AMIF) has unveiled the “2012 Animal Handling Guidelines and Audit Guide,” now in its 15th year. The audit guide grew out of a report that Temple Grandin submitted to USDA in 1996. In that report, she hypothesized that animal welfare did not have to be subjective, but rather could be evaluated objectively using numeric criteria. Today, an estimated 95% of cattle, pigs and sheep are processed in plants that use the audit program. In 2010, AMIF added a transportation audit to the plant audit program. The guidelines and audit guide are available free at