6 reasons to choose RSPCA Approved pork at Coles

Pork RSPCA Approved / 2nd May 2018

More and more Australians are conscious of the impact their food choices have on farm animals and are looking for labels to tell them the animals raised for their food have been treated humanely. But deciphering the marketing terms and labels can be time consuming and simply confusing.

With pork popular in the trolley of many Coles customers, we want to share with you what the RSPCA Approved logo means on Coles Free Range Pork products.

Standards focused on animal welfare
Coles Free Range Pork comes from pigs raised to the RSPCA’s animal welfare standards. These standards are comprehensive, publicly available and focus on ensuring that the physical and behavioural needs of the pigs are well provided for. Pigs are smart, social creatures and giving them the physical space and ability to express their natural behaviours is a key part of ensuring they’re happy and healthy.

Regular on-farm assessments
Being RSPCA Approved means specialised assessors visit farms at least twice a year (with additional unscheduled visits) to verify compliance with the RSPCA’s standards.

Home grown
All RSPCA Approved pork comes from Australian farms, with Coles Free Range Pork hailing from southwest Western Australia. By choosing Coles Free Range Pork, not only are you supporting animal welfare, you’re also supporting Australian sourcing and Aussie farmers doing good.

Room to roam
Many of us have an image in our minds of what ‘free range’ means for farm animals. Life on the range for pigs on Coles’ RSPCA Approved farms means room to roam, forage, root and explore. And not only do they have plenty of space, there’s also mud wallows for sows (breeding pigs) to roll and lie around in too. ‘Happy as a pig in mud’ is an expression for a reason!

A place to rest
Although pigs on Coles’ RSPCA Approved farms are living their best free range life, it’s still important for them to have access to shelter. Sows raising their piglets have access to their own individual straw-filled huts, which provides a space to build a warm nest for piglets, and a place to rest and seek refuge from the elements. Once the piglets have been weaned, they’re housed in large straw-filled shelters with other pigs of the same age and enjoy access to the outdoors. Importantly, farrowing crates and sow stalls, which confine the sow, cause stress and prevent sows from doing behaviours that come naturally, are strictly prohibited.

Free from painful practices
Painful husbandry practices, like teeth clipping, tail docking and surgical castration are not performed on RSPCA Approved farms.

Next time you’re doing your weekly shop, look for the RSPCA Approved logo on Coles Free Range Pork products. This little logo means big things – that the product you’re picking up has been farmed with the animal’s welfare as the top priority.

Watch our video of Coles‘ Dale Pemberton is on farm and talking about meeting their customers’ expectations when it comes to farm animal welfare


  1. MARIA LOZANO says:

    I will buy meat only from Coles and selected butchers from now on. Thank you for letting us know.

    Kind regards
    Maria Lozano

    • Jess @ RSPCA says:

      Hi Deb, thanks for your question. Unfortunately not at the moment. Pandani are currently the only producers of RSPCA Approved bacon. They’re available in Tasmania if you happen to live in Tassie! Find out more here

  2. But what about pigs? There is no “creature comforts” because of the poor conditions and there is a mixture of their urine and feces as high as their shoulders. They are denied with natural behavior and they are confined like this. At the slaughterhouse, they are killed in gas chambers full with dangerous gasses. Please be kind!

    • Only farming systems that cater for the behavioural needs of the pigs, as well as their physical needs, can be part of the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme. These farms must comply with the RSPCA Approved standards. https://rspcaapproved.org.au/join/pigs

      Sows are not confined to sow stalls or farrowing crates. Sows and pigs in outdoor systems must be provided with shelter and protection from the weather, sufficient bedding to avoid discomfort, materials to use for foraging, and environmental enrichment such as rooting areas, wallows and toys. Pigs must have access to wallows outdoors as they use the mud as a natural sunscreen and method to cool down on hot days. Pigs will have separate areas for dunging (urinating and defecating), and won’t wallow in these areas.

      The RSPCA recommends that stunning/killing pigs with high concentrations of CO2 should be phased out quickly, and replaced with a more humane alternative. The development of more humane gas mixtures and suitable equipment should be urgently prioritised. Please do see our article on CO2 stunning of pigs. https://kb.rspca.org.au/is-carbon-dioxide-stunning-(rendering-unconscious)-of-pigs-humane_118.html

  3. Kate Paterson says:

    What is the RSPCA doing about the method used to slaughter ALL pigs?(including the free range ones)
    Australian consumers are being misled into thinking that “free range” pigs are being killed humanely.
    This is not the case, as pigs are herded and then lowered into gas chambers where carbon dioxide is released. This gas causes pigs immense pain and suffering and their death is excruciatingly long.
    How is the RSPCA responding to this horrendous slaughter method?
    Its not good enough to say these pigs are “free range” and then lead consumers to mistakenly believe their food choices do not lead to the immense suffering of (free range) pigs.

    • Hi Kate

      We share the community’s concerns about the use of CO2 to stun pigs. Stunning with CO2 gas offers benefits over electrical stunning including the ability to stun animals in groups, with minimal restraint, less handling, and therefore potentially less stress before stunning. There is also less reliance on the skills of the people operating the equipment. Recent studies have revealed however a number of welfare issues with high concentration CO2 stunning and therefore the RSPCA recommends that stunning with high concentrations of CO2 should be phased out and replaced with a more humane alternative. You can find out more on the RSPCA’s Knowledgebase.

      In the meantime, until such a system is in place the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme is working to ensure that RSPCA Approved pigs are slaughtered in the most humane way possible. RSPCA Standards for pigs have detailed requirements for how animals are handled and processed at an abattoir, included the use of CCTV.

      I hope that this helps answer your question.

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