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Coles today announced it will speed up its plans to implement a sow stall-free policy on its Australian fresh pork and small goods, as well as imported pork products which is not only a win for pig welfare but for consumer choice.

The supermarket giant had originally benchmarked 2014 as the date from which all Coles branded pork, including ham and bacon produced in Australia and overseas, be sourced from pigs not confined in sow stalls. But today it announced it will reach that goal twelve months early, by the start of 2013.

“Today’s announcement is fantastic news for both animal welfare and consumer choice. The RSPCA congratulates Coles and its suppliers for making this important commitment. It’s a huge step forward to improving the lives of pigs along with strengthening the humane food movement in Australia”, said RSPCA Australia CEO, Heather Neil.

“Coles has taken a positive step towards providing Australians with more humanely farmed pork and in doing so has sent a very strong signal that there is no place for sow stalls in the future of Australian pig production; they’ve really set a precedent for other big retailers and it would be great to see them follow suit”, said Ms Neil.

Many Australians have said that they would prefer to buy higher welfare pork and, in order to make a meaningful impact to pig welfare; we need more humanely farmed products available on the supermarket shelf.

“Removing sow stalls is a fantastic step in the right direction and it would be good to see farrowing crates phased out next. That is why the RSPCA supports the Pork CRC’s ongoing research into alternative, confinement-free farrowing systems that cater for the welfare needs of both the sow and her piglets.

“Coles has also announced it will stop selling its own brand of cage eggs and only source barn-laid or free-range eggs to sell under its own label. This change was also fast-tracked as a result of increased consumer demand – which is good news for layer hens as well as consumers wanting to purchase cage-free eggs,” said Ms Neil. 

The RSPCA believes caring about animals and eating animal products do not have to be mutually exclusive. Choosing the highest welfare option you can afford is a great way to help improve the lives of farm animals. 

Coles have been providing their customers access to RSPCA Approved eggs, pork, chicken and turkey for some time. RSPCA Approved products are a great choice because RSPCA’s Approval is our guarantee that those products come from animals that were treated humanely. 

To find RSPCA Approved products near you visit www.shophumane.org.au

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