RSPCA Australia knowledgebase RSS

What is Low Atmospheric Pressure Stunning (LAPS)?

Wed, 2019-04-24 15:04
Low Atmospheric Pressure Stunning (LAPS) is a newer form of stunning (inducing unconsciousness prior to slaughter) which may offer significant welfare improvements over the main methods, gas and electrical stunning. Its use in Australia should be...

What can I do if I'm concerned about the treatment of animals in a film, television or theatrical performance?

Wed, 2019-04-24 14:52
There are many instances where animals are used during the making of a film, a TV program, the theatre or in advertising. The RSPCA believes that animals used in these situations must not be caused any injury, suffering or distress for the purpose...

What are the animal welfare issues with selecting meat chickens for fast growth?

Wed, 2019-04-24 14:17
Chicken is the most popular meat consumed by Australians – on average, Australians eat 47 kg of chicken each year. This high demand coupled with a consumer expectation of low prices, leads to the production of genetically selected breeds of meat...

Why is access to adequate light important for meat chicken welfare?

Wed, 2019-04-24 14:15
Access to adequate light and periods of darkness are necessary for meat chicken welfare, as they encourage natural behaviours including appropriate physical activity and rest. In conventional commercial systems, meat chickens can be housed in...

Why is environmental enrichment important for meat chicken welfare?

Wed, 2019-04-24 14:13
For meat chickens to experience good welfare, it’s important that their environment is stimulating and enriching, and allows them to exhibit their natural behaviours. These behaviours include perching, dust bathing, foraging, ground scratching,...

What are the animal welfare issues with on-farm euthanasia of meat chickens?

Wed, 2019-04-24 14:08
Chickens in the meat industry are sometimes required to be euthanased on-farm if they are weak, sick, injured or unable to walk and will not recover. As with all euthanasia of animals, it is important that the method used is humane, and therefore...

How much space does a meat chicken need?

Wed, 2019-04-24 14:05
All animals need to have enough space to carry out their normal behaviours, and to be physically healthy. When it comes to meat chickens, it’s important that birds have enough room to exercise, explore, peck, dust bathe, forage, and rest. ...

What are the animal welfare issues with the slaughter of meat chickens?

Wed, 2019-04-24 14:03
At the abattoir, meat chickens are stunned (rendered unconscious) before slaughter. This occurs either by electrical waterbath stunning or controlled atmosphere (gas) stunning. Once unconscious, the bird’s throat is cut and bled out to cause...

What are the welfare concerns for breeder birds in the meat chicken industry?

Wed, 2019-04-24 13:59
Breeder birds in the meat chicken industry lay the eggs that will hatch into chickens grown for meat. There are currently two main commercial meat chicken breeds in Australia, both of which have been selectively bred to grow to large sizes quickly....

Why is good litter condition important for meat chicken welfare?

Wed, 2019-04-24 13:56
Meat chickens, even those that are provided with access to an outdoor range area, will spend the majority of their time indoors and in contact with the litter. Bedding, in the form of sawdust, wood shavings, finely cut straw or rice hulls, is...

How are meat chickens farmed in Australia?

Wed, 2019-04-24 13:50
Meat chickens, also called broiler chickens, are those that are grown for their meat, as opposed to laying eggs. Chicken is the most popular meat consumed by Australians, with over 650 million meat chickens slaughtered every year in Australia for...

What should I feed my pet rabbits?

Wed, 2019-04-24 12:19
Feeding the right diet is one of the most important factors in maintaining a healthy rabbit. Rabbits should be fed the types of food they are adapted to eating. In the wild, rabbits eat predominantly grass. They may graze for up to 6-8 hours a day....

How do I keep my pet rabbits happy?

Wed, 2019-04-24 12:17
Rabbits are naturally active, social, curious and intelligent animals. In the wild, rabbits will graze, play, explore and groom each other. When kept as pets, rabbits are often confined for long periods of time. Without adequate stimulation and...

What role does the RSPCA play in Australian agriculture and livestock production?

Mon, 2019-04-15 12:33
What role does the RSPCA play in Australian agriculture and livestock production? As Australia’s largest and most trusted animal welfare organisation, the RSPCA is committed to improving and promoting better welfare for farm animals throughout...

Does cigarette smoke affect pets?

Mon, 2019-04-15 12:10
Passive smoking is a well-known health risk for humans; it causes lung cancer and is also associated with an increased likelihood of developing heart disease, stroke, and respiratory illnesses (such as asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia). There is...

What are the animal welfare issues with jumps racing?

Fri, 2019-04-05 11:12
Jumps racing poses many welfare risks to racehorses which can result in significant pain, injury, distress and death. Thoroughbred jumps racing comprises either hurdle or steeple obstacles which are at least 1 metre in height. Jumps races are at...

What are the animal welfare issues with Thoroughbred racing?

Fri, 2019-04-05 11:09
This article provides a summary of the key problems associated with the horse racing industry that need to be resolved in order to protect the welfare of racehorses. For further information on these topics please follow the links at the end of the...

What are the animal welfare issues relating to meat chicken production?

Thu, 2019-04-04 13:24
Chickens that are grown for meat production (also called broiler chickens) are genetically very different from layer hens (which are bred to produce eggs). Meat chickens have been selectively bred over many generations to grow and gain weight very...

How are animals killed for food?

Tue, 2019-04-02 16:32
In Australia, the killing of animals for food, fibre and other animal products (referred to as ‘slaughter’) is underpinned by the Australian standard for the hygienic production and transport of meat and meat products for human consumption. The...

Where can I find information on best practice management of pest birds?

Mon, 2019-04-01 13:56
RSPCA Australia acknowledges that, in certain circumstances, it is necessary to manage populations of wild animals in order to reduce adverse impacts on human activities, health and wellbeing or the environment and also to protect the welfare of...

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