What does RSPCA Approved mean for improving the lives of farmed salmon?

We can help you if you want to know how the RSPCA Approved Fishing Scheme enhances the welfare and health of farmed salmon.

The RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme represents one way in which the RSPCA strives to improve the lives and welfare of animals raised for food in Australia. The RSPCA Approved Certification is a way to demonstrate that a product comes from a farm in which animals are raised according to our animal care standards.

Why salmon? The RSPCA, as an animal welfare organization, believes that aquaculture is one of the fastest-growing sectors of animal protein production in the world.

Fish can feel pain and suffer, just like other sentient creatures. Fish welfare must be a top priority when they are being farmed. Since the release of an animal welfare standard for farmed Atlantic Salmon in 2016, over 11.9 million fish have benefited from improved conditions on farms in Tasmania.

We must work closely with large-scale producers to ensure these industries are constantly improving.

What are the standards? Our standards are specific, comprehensive, and publicly accessible – but, in a nutshell, they focus on meeting the physical and behavioral needs of an individual animal. For farmed Atlantic Salmon, this means that:

  • Access to a healthy and nutritious diet
  • Focus on water oxygen levels.
  • The temperature and stocking density should be adjusted to ensure that salmon can swim easily and perform natural schooling behaviors with other fish.
  • Salmon can be protected from disease and injury by good management and husbandry.
  • Stockmanship that is based on animal welfare and low-stress handling.
  • Humane slaughter includes pre-slaughter stunned.

Aquaculture, like other farming systems, has an environmental impact. We acknowledge this. Aquaculture companies that are part of the RSPCA’s Approved farming scheme must not only meet government regulations but also demonstrate compliance with a third-party audited recognized certification scheme.

How can a producer obtain the RSPCA-approved certification? These detailed standards and a strict, ongoing certification program are required. Huon Aquaculture is the only producer that can do this currently.

We conduct frequent assessments on-site to ensure that the RSPCA Standard has been met. In 2019, we conducted a total of 18 evaluations on Huon salmon sites. Before 2019, the company had been subjected to 31 assessments from their application to the scheme in 2016

The RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme, of course, is one of the ways that we can improve the lives and welfare of farm animals. It’s a crucial part of our mission and is always guided by the most recent animal welfare science and research.


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