Every year hundreds of millions of animals are farmed in Australia to meet demand for food. In 2020, more than 660 million of these animals were meat chickens.
In our previous posts in this series, we shared the journey we’ve been on, working with farmers, retailers and well-known brands, through the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme, to improve animal welfare for Australian meat chickens. With the uptake of our animal welfare Standard across the industry, we’ve seen increased space per bird, better lighting, good litter quality and the provision of perches and enrichment for more than 3 billion meat chickens since 2010. That’s huge!
We know our work is far from finished and there is more that can be done to continue to improve animal welfare. Our best chance at doing this is by incrementally raising the bar within our Standards, while keeping farmers participating in the Scheme. As public awareness, consumer, and retailer demand for better farm animal welfare grows, we are confident that we will see more improvements within the industry.
Your role as a consumer
While a growing number of Australians are looking for plant-based alternatives, the majority continue to include products from animals in their diet. It’s therefore crucial that animal welfare is a leading consideration when farming animals into the future.
If you choose to eat meat, eggs and fish, here’s how your support for farmers and brands that care about farm animal welfare has a flow on effect, leading to more animals being farmed to higher welfare standards.
Being a driver of change
Ultimately, consumers are the driving force for change.
It’s important to remember that farming to higher welfare standards generally has more overhead costs, is more labour intensive, and uses less animals making production more costly. When it comes to buying higher welfare chicken, Australians are in a fortunate position. With the industry’s extensive uptake of the RSPCA Standard and the hard work by farmers across the country, chicken that’s farmed to higher welfare standards has never been more accessible.
Our success in the meat chicken industry, is something we can all be very proud of, but we need your support to see more egg-laying hens and pigs farmed to higher welfare standards. So, if your favourite brand doesn’t have RSPCA Approved eggs or pork, get in touch and let them know that animal welfare is important to you.
Explore what the Scheme means for animals and the journey we’ve been on for the past 25 years at our new immersive impact webpage – all of which has only been possible because caring Australians, support a future of higher welfare by choosing RSPCA Approved.