The RSPCA believes that if farm animals are to be bred, reared and slaughtered for the purpose of food, they must be provided with an environment that meets their physical and behavioural needs without unnecessary suffering or distress.
As part of this goal, the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme has been created to provide higher animal welfare standards for the care of layer hens, pigs, meat chickens and turkeys.
The standards ensure that animals in these farming systems are provided with an environment that meets their physical and behavioural needs.
Producers that meet and maintain the RSPCA standards can apply to join the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme.
The RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme is
Good for animals that might otherwise be raised in a conventional farming system that doesn’t have the same standards of animal welfare and that don’t meet their behavioural needs
- To learn more about animal welfare issues in conventional farming systems, visit the RSPCA Knowledge Base.
- Good for farmers who are rewarded for their efforts to improve animal welfare and can feel confident they’re managing their animals to higher welfare standards
- Good for companies that can meet consumer demand and offer a point of difference by participating in the scheme as a Licensee and using the RSPCA Approved Farming logo on these higher welfare products
- Good for consumers who are looking for higher welfare products and can shop with confidence by looking for the RSPCA Approved Farming logo
RSPCA Approved free-range and barn-housed layer hens have more space than those raised in conventional systems. They can perch, dust bathe, scratch and forage, and lay their eggs in a nest. Eligible egg producers will be approved if they are able to meet the high standards of welfare required and allow regular assessments to ensure that these conditions are maintained.
- Visit our Shop Humane website to locate your nearest stockist of RSPCA Approved eggs.
- View our standards for layer hens here.
- Visit our Hens Deserve Better site for more about the RSPCA's work to improve the treatment of layer hens.
Pigs reared on RSPCA Approved farms live in a well-managed outdoor system, or within enhanced indoor environments that cater for all their behavioural and physiological needs, or a combination of both. You would not see sow stalls or farrowing crates on an RSPCA Approved pig farm. All pigs are reared, handled and transported with consideration and care and then slaughtered humanely.
- Visit our Shop Humane Food website to locate your nearest stockist of RSPCA Approved pork products.
- View our standards for pigs here.
- Visit our Pig Farming campaign page to find out more about RSPCA's work to improve the treatment of pigs.
The RSPCA meat chicken standards ensure good welfare for meat chickens by focussing on the housing conditions that affect bird welfare and also by providing birds with material to peck at and perches to sit on, a longer dark period so they can rest properly, and sufficient space to move around freely.
- Visit our Shop Humane website to locate your nearest stockist of RSPCA Approved chicken.
- View our standards for meat chicken here.
- For more about the RSPCA's work to improve the treatment of meat chickens by visiting our meat chicken campaign page.
The RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme standards for turkeys provide for an environment that meets the turkey's needs through the provision of good housing conditions, appropriate stocking densities, and environmental enrichment.
- View our standards for turkeys here.
- Visit our Shop Humane website to locate your nearest stockist of RSPCA Approved turkey.
Look for the logo!
The RSPCA Approved Farming logo is only found on products that have come from animals that have been cared for on RSPCA Approved farms according to the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme Standards.
If you see the RSPCA Approved Farming logo on a carton of eggs or a packet of pork, chicken or turkey, you can be assured our higher animal welfare standards have been met and maintained.
How you can help:
- Don't buy cage eggs that have been produced in battery cages. Instead, choose eggs that have been produced in a cage free (barn laid) or free-range system, such as RSPCA Approved eggs.
- Don't buy pork, chicken or turkey products that have been produced using intensive farming systems. Instead, look for products that are approved by the RSPCA or certified free range .
- If animal-welfare friendly products are not available, talk to your butcher or supermarket manager. Tell them you would prefer to buy products that do not come from inhumane farming systems and encourage them to consider stocking and promoting products that are humanely produced.
- When you eat out, look for an RSPCA Choose Wisely café or restaurant. Choose Wisely participants have committed to serving cage-free eggs and welfare friendly chicken and pork in their menu items. If your favourite local hangout isn't already involved, why not encourage them to join?