Better lives for 3 billion farm animals and counting
For the past 25 years, the RSPCA-approved Farming Scheme has helped improve the lives of farm animals in Australia. The RSPCA established it, and its not-for-profit Scheme plays an important role in the efforts of the charity to ensure continuous improvement in the welfare of farm animals with a focus on the durable and tangible over the long term. We’re pleased that in the course of its existence, the Scheme has witnessed over 3 billion animals gain from better standards of welfare in farming.
In celebration of this year’s 25th anniversary, We’ve published our 2020 impact report. This is our most comprehensive report to date, and it contains all the most current information on the impacts of the Scheme on the lives of farm animals. The report also provides details on how the Scheme functions, its role as an unofficial certification authority, the methodology that is used to develop standards for animal welfare, and how the assessments of farms that are part of the Scheme are carried out.
We know that one of the most significant ways in which the RSPCA can set the bar for animal welfare in Australian farming is through collaborating with farmers who are committed to raising their animals to a better standard of animal welfare. We also recognize we can count on Australians to be adamant about the RSPCA. That’s why our program is unique in Australia. Our standards are comprehensive and focus on improving the welfare of animals, along with an accreditation process that is tough and strict.
Farms that participate in the Scheme must comply with RSPCA Standards and be subjected to a rigorous continuous certification process. One of the most important aspects of this is the regular assessment by specially educated RSPCA Assessors. This means that when the RSPCA Certified certification is located on meat, eggs, or fish, much has been happening in the background to improve the welfare of animals and is independently confirmed through the RSPCA.
As of 2020, 525 farmers took part in the Scheme, and over 585 million egg-laying hens, meat chickens, pigs, turkeys, and raised Atlantic salmon were submitted in accordance with the RSPCA’s detailed standards for animal welfare.
The majority of the animals that were slaughtered were meat chickens, which is 579 million chickens, or 87 percent of Australia’s meat production currently in compliance with standards set by the RSPCA Standard. Although we’re aware that there’s more than we can do to improve the quality of life for meat chickens, and we’re determined to work with the industry to continue increasing the standards, It’s important to understand the place where the industry’s roots are from and where it is in the present.
From sheds that were usually overstocked, with poor light, poor quality litter, and lack of perches, the introduction of the RSPCA Standard has seen space allowances increased, better lighting, good litter quality and perches and other enrichments and enrichment, which has led to improved health and well-being for the chickens. While it’s not required to ensure good health and welfare for chickens to be able to access the outdoors, if they have access, it is important to have access. The RSPCA Standard has meant improvements in the appearance and quality of the farm, such as such things as better shade and shelter and better access.
The adoption of the RSPCA Standard by the Australian meat chicken industry is undoubtedly the greatest accomplishment for animal welfare in the Scheme. It’s also evident that the industry is keen to prove that they’re an innovator in the field of animal welfare.
In the end, consumers will become the primary driver for changes. As tomorrow is World Farm Animals Day, it’s the perfect opportunity to consider ways we can make an impact positively on the conditions of farm animals since ensuring that all animals, including those raised for food production, are living a healthy life is essential.
Learn more about the significance of the Scheme for animals and the path we’ve traveled for the last 25 years on our new website, which is immersive and impactful. This all is possible only because compassionate Australians help us create a future of better welfare by deciding to be RSPCA-approved.