Better lives for 3 billion farm animals and counting

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RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme
Photo: kadmy 123rf

The RSPCA recently released a detailed report highlighting the positive impact the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme is having on the lives of Australian farm animals.

Established in 1996, the Scheme is in its 25th year and continues to play a key role in the RSPCA’s efforts to drive continuous improvements for farm animal welfare.

During this time, the Scheme has seen more than three billion of Australia’s most intensively farmed animals—egg-laying hens, pigs, meat chickens, turkeys and farmed Atlantic salmon—benefit from higher welfare farming conditions.  

In 2020 more than 585 million animals were raised under the Scheme and in accordance with its detailed animal welfare Standards. The vast majority of these animals were meat chickens, with 87 per cent of Australia’s total meat chicken production now meeting the RSPCA Standard.

“Our Scheme is like no other in Australia. We have comprehensive standards that are focused on improving animal welfare, as well as a certification process that’s tough and stringent,” RSPCA Australia CEO Richard Mussell said.

Developed by RSPCA Australia’s science team, the RSPCA Standards are informed by animal welfare science, RSPCA policy and leading farming practices in Australia and overseas.  

Farms participating in the Scheme must meet the RSPCA’s animal welfare standards and be subject to a demanding, ongoing certification process. A key part of this is frequent assessments by specially trained RSPCA assessors.

“Participating farms are part of the Scheme because animal welfare is important to them,” Mussell said. 

“They also want Australians to see the RSPCA Approved certification on their products when they are grocery shopping or dining out, and know that the only way to get this certification is to be rigorously assessed by the RSPCA.

“Australians should also know that when they choose the RSPCA Approved certification, it is leading to an increased uptake of higher welfare farming practices along the supply chain. And that’s a good thing because making sure all animals—including those farmed for food—have a good quality of life, is paramount.”

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