Who is RSPCA Approved?

The RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme is a certification program, demonstrating to consumers that meat, eggs or fish comes from a producer that meets the RSPCA’s detailed animal welfare standards. The standards include requirements that go above what is legally required in Australia, meaning certified producers farm to higher-welfare standards.

The animal-specific RSPCA standards are publicly available, consider commercial viability and are based on what animal welfare science tells us farm animals need to live a better quality of life.

RSPCA Approved standards are currently available for:

Meat chickens — 421 requirements for producers

Layer hens – 138 requirements for producers

Pigs – 410 requirements for producers

Turkeys – 351 requirements for producers

Salmon – 505 requirements for producers

Dairy calves – 319 requirements for producers

Certification assessor observing a salmon farm

To have RSPCA Approved certification, not only do producers have to meet the RSPCA’s detailed animal welfare standards, but they go through a rigorous certification process. This includes regular and comprehensive assessments by specially trained RSPCA Assessors to ensure the standards are being met.

Brands who source from producers with RSPCA Approved certification and market their products as RSPCA Approved must have traceability systems in place to ensure these products can be traced from the point of sale right back to the farm.

RSPCA Approved chicken, pork, turkey, salmon and eggs are all currently available. Visit the list of participating brands to find out more.

How We’re Governed

The RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme is a part of RSPCA Australia, the national office of the RSPCA in Australia. The RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme team is based in the Canberra office with Assessors based right across the country, conducting assessments at farms and abattoirs.

The RSPCA Approved team is led by the Manager – RSPCA Approved, who oversees the RSPCA Approved business unit and brand and industry participation. The Manager – Certification Body oversees assessment and certification activities, including RSPCA Assessors, who conduct assessments at participating farms and abattoirs, and Certification personnel, who coordinate the certification process from assessment reports. The Certification Body sits within the RSPCA Approved business unit, but its policies and processes ensure that it operates independently and impartially. In addition, the RSPCA Approved team has staff who work on policy (including internal policies and internal auditing), administration, and marketing of the RSPCA Approved brand. RSPCA standards are developed and reviewed by RSPCA Australia’s science and policy team, who are separate to the RSPCA Approved business unit but work closely with the RSPCA Approved team.

RSPCA Approved is not funded by donations to the RSPCA or general RSPCA revenue. It is self-funded, mostly by license fees from brands who source from RSPCA Approved producers and market their products with RSPCA Approved certification. These funds are quarantined and used only within RSPCA Approved to improve the lives of these farmed animals. RSPCA Approved also receives support from other RSPCA Australia business units, including in the areas of administration, communications and science. You can read more about the structure of RSPCA Approved and financial information in our Impact Report.

RSPCA Approved is independent of state and territory RSPCA Inspectorates. RSPCA Inspectors enforce existing animal protection legislation on behalf of their respective state and territory governments. Producers choose to seek RSPCA Approved certification because they are looking to raise animal welfare standards above and beyond the legal requirements, and want independent certification for this.

Why We’re Here

The RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme vision is a future of higher welfare farming. Our mission is to improve the quality of life of farmed animals.

As Australia’s leading independent farm animal welfare certification scheme, we do this by working closely with producers to make a positive impact on the lives of Australia’s most intensively farmed animals by providing an environment that meets their physical and behavioural needs.

The reality is that millions of Australians choose to eat meat, eggs or fish – and while that is the case, we want to ensure that they have a higher welfare option, verified by an independent certification they can trust.

The RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme has been improving the lives of farm animals since the Scheme was established in 1996. We’re immensely proud of our achievements – but just as importantly, we are always looking to the future. Our goal is to raise the bar for farm animal welfare – including by regularly reviewing our standards in line with the latest animal welfare science, RSPCA policy and leading farming practices in Australia and overseas. The standards are created with the aim of raising the bar as much as possible while still being commercially available – meaning that RSPCA Approved can work with large scale producers and improve the lives of a greater number of animals.

Organisation Chart

RSPCA Approved is just one of the ways in which the RSPCA works to improve farm animal welfare. The most meaningful way that we can achieve this is by encouraging continuous improvement, whether it’s at a government, industry, producer or corporate level. RSPCA Approved complements our other work to improve farm animal welfare, including advocating for better legislation, participating in industry working groups, and providing advice to businesses about sourcing policies.

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