Humane Food Production
What do sow stalls and hormone growth promotants have to do with the price of eggs – or should we say, the price of milk?
Current debate suggests these issues are front of mind when consumers are making that all important choice at the supermarket. The RSPCA has seen a major shift in consumer thinking and greater interest in where and how food is produced. It’s an important conversation to be having because for consumers, understanding the options and choosing higher welfare, is the best way to help improve the lives of millions of farm animals around the country.
RSPCA Australia actively promotes the humane production of farm animals for food by raising awareness of the animal welfare issues in conventional production systems, by supporting research into alternative production methods and through our own RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme.
Humane food production is about providing farm animals with an environment that meets their behavioural needs. Sows should be able to forage for food and have access to straw to build a nest for their piglets. Layer hens should be free to roam, dustbathe, scratch in the dirt and lay their eggs in a nest. Sow stalls and cages have no place in humane farming systems. Surplus dairy calves, too, deserve a fairer go. And with regard to the effect of hormone growth promotants on animal welfare, this requires further research. Until more information is available, hormonal growth promotants are best used with caution.
To make a meaningful impact on farm animal welfare we need more humane food products on every supermarket shelf in Australia. So when making that decision at the supermarket shelf, remember it’s not just about price – it’s about animal welfare and supporting those farmers who are providing you with a higher welfare choice.