The Golden Arches Inspiring Better Chicken Welfare

Over the coming months, we’re helping conscientious consumers to make more informed purchasing decisions. Our Know the Story activity takes a closer look at the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme’s science and evidence-based standards, assessments and certification – as well as the forward-thinking brands striving to bring higher welfare products to their customers. 

McDonald’s Australia had been engaging with RSPCA Australia for over a decade to improve animal welfare in their supply chains, and in 2021 they finished their move to sourcing 100% RSPCA Approved chicken throughout their Australian locations. It’s a huge accomplishment – and one that contributes to many millions of meat chickens now and in the future having a better quality of life. 

To achieve this, McDonald’s worked with their three existing chicken suppliers; Ingham’s, Turosi and Baiada, who committed to participating in regular assessments to make sure their farms and abattoirs meet the RSPCA’s detailed animal welfare standards. Rigorous assessments are completed two to four times a year on farm, and annually at abattoirs by specially trained RSPCA Assessors. Once assessments are completed, Assessors send their reports to be reviewed and evaluated by the certification team to check for conformance and work through any potential issues before granting certification. This multi-layer approach to certification reflects the world’s best practice

Prior to making the switch to RSPCA Approved chicken, in 2017, McDonald’s transitioned to sourcing 100% of its whole eggs from cage-free farms. In 2022, they served up around 81 million eggs annually, meaning millions of hens have lived better lives, with more space to flap their wings and lay their eggs in secluded nest boxes.   

To date, over 4.4 billion animals have benefitted from being reared to the RSPCA’s detailed animal welfare standards by Producers with RSPCA Approved certification. Brands like McDonald’s are listening to their customers and demonstrating a commitment to making higher welfare food options more accessible to Australian consumers. We look forward to seeing what they do next to further improve the lives of farm animals.  

Interested in reading more? 
RSPCA Approved – Know the Story 
RSPCA Approved – Our Impact 

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