RSPCA Approved is Australia’s leading independent certification scheme focused on farm animal welfare with a vision of a future of higher welfare farming. The program is underpinned by animal-specific standards that go beyond Australia’s legal requirements and are informed by science and evidence, developed by RSPCA Australia’s expert science team, with the aim of improving the quality of life for Australia’s farmed animals.
To truly Know the Story of RSPCA Approved and understand what makes it different to other farm animal welfare initiatives, it’s important to note that to ensure conformance, certified producers are regularly assessed by the RSPCA Australia Certification Body, to make sure the requirements of the standards are being met.
Meet Ruby, one of the committed members of the team who helps make this happen. Ruby is an example of the dedication behind the frequent and comprehensive onsite assessments that underpin the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme, along with our multi-layer certification process, which is a feature of world’s best practice and leads to better farm animal welfare.
But what drives Ruby and the rest of the team to continue working toward a future of higher welfare farming?
When Ruby joined RSPCA Approved, it was an interest in agricultural processes and the opportunity to positively impact millions of farm animals that attracted her to the role. Growing up in Berridale in the Snowy Mountains, Ruby originally studied psychology, but it’s her varied background that has contributed to preparing her for her role with our Certification Body. Time working in a cattery ignited her passion for working with animals, while editing academic journals honed her all-important communication skills necessary for her role.
Part of Ruby’s role involves supporting the coordination of farm assessments and requires an in-depth understanding of workflow, operational procedures and evaluation of reports to ensure consistency. The work involves regular communication with producers and working with them to ensure ongoing conformance.
Ruby said this interaction is just one of the many parts of her role she finds fulfilling.
“Speaking directly with producers and farmers really helps to further understand their experiences, in turn helping to build trust and open communication, which are integral to my work.”
Working with both RSPCA Assessors and producers requires a deep understanding of the RSPCA Approved Standards – and with an average of 370 specific requirements in each standard that must be met for a producer to achieve RSPCA Approved certification, that’s no small feat. While understanding the requirements is essential, Ruby values the importance of seeing the impact they create for animals.
“I recently attended an assessment of one of our certified meat chicken producers and I loved seeing the birds being free to express their natural behaviours such as perching and foraging, because I know this is a direct result of requirements in the RSPCA Approved Standard for Meat Chickens. It was especially nice to see the personalities of the birds; some were bold, some were shy, some were playful.”
Ruby was attracted to the role due to the real-world implications, opportunity to work with experts and the knowledge that RSPCA is working to make improvements to farming practices that benefit animals. She is looking forward to continuing to work with the RSPCA Assessors and strengthening relationships with producers, to ultimately create better welfare outcomes for farm animals.
When asked if there was one stand-out from her on farm experiences, Ruby said that it was listening to the producers talk about the evolution of farming and seeing how engaged they are in ensuring the welfare of the animals. With continual improvement a cornerstone of the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme, this is a good sign for the future of farm animal welfare in Australia.
Interested in learning more?
MORE THAN A LOGO: What it takes for a farm to achieve RSPCA Approved certification