RSPCA Assessors Bringing a Wealth of Experience

Recently we’ve discussed the brands and producers that have committed to supporting higher welfare farming. But today, we’re providing you with a snapshot of what it means to be an RSPCA Assessor. Senior Assessor Fiona sheds a light on what life is like for an Assessor and her extensive career that prepared her for the role.  

Fiona has a comprehensive background in agriculture and animal welfare, which illustrates her deep commitment to giving farmed animals a better quality of life and is key to her role with the RSPCA. 

RSPCA Assessors are a crucial part of the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme and their role requires a thorough understanding of the RSPCA Approved Standards, farm animal behaviour and best practice in auditing.  

For many members of the RSPCA Approved team, agriculture, farming, and animal welfare are very familiar. This is certainly the case for Fiona, who has over 30 years of experience including management of dairy farms, beef cattle and crops, working in environmental protection, and an Advanced Diploma of Agriculture under her belt. There’s no question that Fiona knows the ins and outs of agriculture. But it was her time as a Senior Biosecurity Inspector for Animal Welfare (Livestock) that piqued her interest in the welfare of intensively farmed animals. 

Taking great pride in her work, Fiona enjoys building relationships and seeing how passionate certified producers are about their operations, their animals, and the mentoring of the next generation of farmers.  

“While the average age for a farming manager is late 50s, there are a surprising number of young farmers taking the reins and learning from the older generations. This is great news for farm animals, as its the combination of experience and progressive thinking that will help lead to a future of higherwelfare farming.” 

Producers with RSPCA Approved certification are assessed on-site two to four times per year, and as a humane death is equally as important, abattoirs are assessed annually, along with additional unscheduled visits when feasible. These stringent assessments are solely focused on animal welfare , with a team of dedicated Assessors completing the regular assessments across the country.  

While Fiona spends her down time in Tasmania tending to the family vineyard and her 20 cattle with her horse Lance and dog Lloyd at her side, her work as our Senior Assessor is key to ensuring producers conform with the RSPCA Approved standards. It’s all  part of ensuring a better quality of life for animals farmed by producers with RSPCA Approved certification. 

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