Three close up images of animals facing towards the camera. The three images are a meat chicken, a pig and a turkey. The meat chicken has their head turned over the right of their body looking towards the camera. The pig is standing slightly in front of other pigs in a nest of hay. The turkey is in a field of grass with blue sky, peering curiously into the camera lens,with other turkeys behind them.

Building Trust for Better Animal Welfare Outcomes

Did you know that for farms to achieve RSPCA Approved certification, they are regularly assessed by specially trained RSPCA Assessors? This is to ensure producers continue to meet the requirements within RSPCA’s science-backed animal-specific standards. RSPCA Approved certification is an ongoing commitment, and once certified, farms are assessed 2-4 times a year, which is crucial to the success of the program as assessments provide accountability and help mitigate issues before they develop.   

RSPCA Assessors are integral to the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme. Their direct work with farmers is an important part of the pathway to certification. RSPCA Assessors have diverse experience, and importantly a shared commitment to continual improvement of farm animal welfare in Australia. Jarrad is no exception. When Jarrad joined our team of Assessors in 2023, it was the combination of both his personal and professional background in agriculture that set him up for the role.   

It was Jarrad’s time growing up on the family farm north-east of Perth that honed his interest in working with animals. When given the opportunity, Jarrad always chose to work with the livestock and dogs rather than involving himself in the cropping side of the business. Regardless, when the opportunity came to take on the family farm, he chose a different path going on to university to study agriculture and develop skills in other areas. His studies ultimately led back to his interest in farm animals and then 15 years managing a pig farm. Jarrad said it was the significant amount of time spent observing pigs that taught him if you take time to watch and listen, animals give us messages about what they need and whether they can freely express natural behaviours – an important element of animal welfare.  

“I genuinely enjoy seeing animals happy. Pigs are real characters with their own personalities, and you can tell when they’re happy or excited; they also tell you when something is wrong.   

“Once you know what they need and what makes them comfortable, you can work with them in a way that allows them to simply be pigs, the result being better for all involved.”  

Continuous improvement underpins the strategy of RSPCA Approved and with this comes evolution in standards over time, requiring the RSPCA Assessors to build trust with producers. During his work as an Assessor, many of the farmers Jarrad meets are incredibly passionate about their work. Some have farmed their whole lives and hold a wealth of knowledge, so it’s important to create strong relationships that allow for honest conversations.  

Jarrad believes RSPCA Approved certification is important because it leads to change and better welfare for millions of animals farmed in Australia each year. Acknowledging that change can be difficult for some, he believes that being led by science, and respectfully sharing evidence that illustrates the positive impacts of higher welfare farming, leads to better outcomes for both animals and farmers.  

Interested in reading more? 
What it Takes for a Farm to Achieve RSPCA Approved Certification
Five Fast Facts
Dedication and Teamwork Ensuring a Robust Certification

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