Do you know what terms like "free-range", "bred free-range", or "grain-fed" really mean?
Or are you, like most of us, pretty confused and uncertain about the seemingly arbitrary use of these terms on food labels?
These terms are applied to animal food products, such a meat and eggs, and refer to the systems used to house farm animals. Unfortunately, there are no universally accepted definitions for these terms, and while the RSPCA's view is that each of these systems can be humane it's important for them to be well managed and adapted to meet the behavioural and physical needs of the animals.
RSPCA Australia believes:
- The public should have full and accurate information about the production method used for the animal products they buy.
- Labelling of food products should be clear and unambiguous.
- We need legally defined and nationally consistent definitions of the terms that describe a particular method of production (e.g. free-range).
What can you do?
Next time you go shopping make sure you read the labels carefully and find out whether the product has been accredited or approved by a reputable organisation with minimum welfare standards.
You can also write to your local MP and voice your concerns about the lack of legally defined and nationally consistent definitions used in food labelling.More information
- Shop Humane - Find RSPCA Approved products
- Food Labelling Law and Policy Review
- Labelling of animal welfare-friendly foods
- What is the difference between free range, bred free range, organic?
- RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme