How to support better farm animal welfare this holiday season


There’s no doubt 2020 has been a tough year, and with our busy lives forced to slow down, one thing that has continued to grow is consumer interest in where our food comes from. We know that for Australian grocery buyers, good animal welfare is a box that many would like to tick. So, if you are planning a traditional turkey and ham or a summery salmon this holiday season, here’s what to look for and where to buy to make sure you are supporting farming practices that prioritise animal welfare.

Look for the RSPCA Approved logo
Looking for the RSPCA Approved logo is an easy way for Australians to choose a product that has been farmed to higher welfare standards.

RSPCA Approved farms raise animals to the RSPCA’s detailed animal welfare standards, which are publicly available. Farms are assessed regularly by trained RSPCA Assessors to ensure the standards are met.

To work with us, brands must source from RSPCA Approved farms and have traceability systems in place to trace product from the supermarket or restaurant right back to the farm.

RSPCA Approved turkey in Coles and Woolworths
For those shopping for turkey, the exciting news is that this year, RSPCA Approved turkey will be available in both Coles and Woolworths supermarkets.

Being farmed to the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme Standard means turkeys have access to perches to help build stronger legs, and interesting objects to peck at (such as plastic chains, straw bales, shiny discs and sometimes even magazines!). The RSPCA Standard for turkeys also has specifications for the provision of quality litter which covers the floor, allowing birds to dustbathe which helps them clean and maintain their feathers.

For the past few years Coles have offered their customers a Coles Finest free range RSPCA Approved turkey. Raised on RSPCA Approved farms in NSW’s picturesque Hunter Valley, these turkeys have access to the outdoors to explore and forage during the day. Overnight they are housed in barns with plenty to do to keep them entertained.

Free range RSPCA Approved ham in Coles
Life on the range for pigs on Coles’ RSPCA Approved farms means room to roam, forage and explore. There’s also mud wallows for breeding pigs to roll and lie around in and sows (mother pigs) have access to straw-filled huts to build a warm nest for her piglets.

Once piglets are weaned, they’re housed in large straw-filled shelters with other pigs of the same age with access to the outdoors.

There are no sow stalls or farrowing crates on RSPCA Approved farms and piglets don’t endure painful procedures such as tail docking or teeth clipping.

While sow stall free is a good first step, it doesn’t always mean pigs are free to explore, build nests for their piglets, rest comfortably in straw bedding or are free from painful procedures. When buying pork products, consumers can make a big difference by choosing pork from higher welfare farming systems, such as RSPCA Approved.

Huon RSPCA Approved salmon
Huon Aquaculture have a strong focus on fish welfare and are the first (and only) farmed Atlantic salmon producer to meet the RSPCA’s standards.

Being RSPCA Approved means the fish are raised with consideration of their welfare throughout their entire life, from the time they are hatched right through to slaughter. The RSPCA Standard for salmon focuses on providing salmon with oxygen-rich water to swim in, enough space to swim effortlessly and perform schooling behaviours, close monitoring to ensure good health, low stress handling, and stunning at slaughter (which is important for a humane death).

From all of us at the RSPCA, we’d like to wish you a very safe, relaxing and joyful holiday season.
Remember, we are all voting with the choices we make every day. If you’re planning to buy turkey, ham, salmon (or any product from animals) this festive season, make sure they have been farmed to higher welfare standards.

By looking for the RSPCA Approved logo you’ll continue to show that better animal welfare is a priority in your holiday grocery shop.

Find out more about what it means to be RSPCA Approved and what brands have RSPCA Approved products.

You might also be interested in Buying lobster? What you need to know and Where to find RSPCA Approved salmon?

2 comments

  1. All farm animals, including turkeys, must be treated with immense respect.
    All farm animals, including turkeys, must be placed in a state of unconsciousness, prior to humane slaughter.
    RSPCA inspectors, and veterinary experts, must be allowed to supervise the humane treatment of farm animals, in Australia’s abattoirs, and on Australia’s farms.
    Animal welfare in Australia is extremely important.

  2. All animals should be treated as sentient beings. If RSPCA approved farming as described above is true, these animals are still all slaughtered in the same inhumane way. They don’t want to die.

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