World Farm Animal Day is extra special this year as RSPCA Australia celebrates reaching an incredible milestone with half a BILLION hens, turkeys, meat chickens and pigs being farmed to RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme Standards since the program began in 1996.
“The Scheme has delivered a better quality of life to more than 500,000,000 animals thanks to the commitment of hundreds of Australian farmers involved in the program and the overwhelming support of the Australian public,” said Hope Bertram, Marketing Manager Humane Food, RSPCA Australia.
“Australian consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about where their food comes from and how farm animals are raised. With so many different labels and claims on products, consumers are cutting through the confusion by choosing RSPCA Approved.”
The RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme is a not-for-profit program with robust standards that require producers to go beyond current legal requirements. Farms are assessed at least twice a year to ensure standards are met.
Meeting the needs of chickens, hens, turkeys and pigs by allowing animals to do what comes naturally is key on RSPCA Approved farms;
- layer hens are able to dustbathe, scratch around in litter or dirt, perch and lay their eggs in a nest
- pigs live in groups either outdoors their whole lives or in straw filled shelters. Female pigs are never kept in sow stalls or farrowing crates
- meat chickens have things to peck, litter to scratch and dustbathe in, perches and a longer dark period so they can rest properly
- turkeys have perches, sufficient space to move and a variety of material for pecking to keep them entertained.
“Producers have described the Approved Farming Scheme as ‘tough but fair’ and we are incredibly proud of the standards which farmers under the Scheme are required to meet.
“Consumer demand for humane food is on the rise and so we are always looking for more producers to join the Scheme to meet this growing interest in RSPCA Approved food,” said Ms Bertram.
You can view life on an RSPCA Approved Farm or access print ready images here.