The RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme is Australia’s leading independent certification scheme focused on animal welfare. We work closely with farmers to make a positive impact on the lives of farm animals by providing an environment that meets their needs. More than 2.5 billion hens, pigs, chickens, turkeys and farmed Atlantic salmon have benefitted from higher welfare conditions since the Scheme began.
Currently, the RSPCA has animal welfare standards for layer hens, pigs, meat chickens, turkeys, farmed Atlantic salmon and dairy calves.
The nature of sheep farming in Australia means that animals generally aren’t affected by the same welfare concerns related to behavioural restriction faced by animals in intense confinement (such as can be experienced by layer hens, pigs, meat chickens, turkeys and ducks). Nevertheless, some prime lamb production occurs in feedlots as opposed to pastures and this a potential cause for concern as movement is restricted and animals may be exposed to extremes of heat or cold. As with all livestock production systems, animals may be subjected to painful procedures – in the case of lambs, tail docking and castration – without the use of anaesthetics or pain relief.
In the meantime, as a consumer you can contact the makers of your favourite lamb products and ask them about standards of care for their animals.