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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is RSPCA Assured?

RSPCA Assured, previously Freedom Food, is the RSPCA’s farm assurance and food labelling scheme.

It aims to improve the welfare of animals farmed for our food. RSPCA Assured assesses farms, hauliers and abattoirs to the RSPCA’s strict welfare standards. If they meet every standard, the RSPCA Assured label can be used on their product.

RSPCA Assured allows free-range, organic, indoor and outdoor farms to join its scheme as long as the RSPCA’s welfare standards can be met.

Ho Do I Know if a Product is RSPCA Assured?

The only way of knowing if a product is RSPCA Assured is if it carries our label on it. If it doesn't have the RSPCA Assured label, it didn’t come from a farm where we have assessed the welfare of the animals to the RSPCA’s higher welfare standards.

Why Does RSPCA Assured Allow Indoor Farming?

Good animal welfare is not as simple as indoor versus outdoor. Both Indoor and outdoor farms, including free-range and organic, can be members of the RSPCA Assured scheme as long as the RSPCA’s strict welfare standards are met, although cages and farrowing crates are strictly prohibited.

Can RSPCA Assured Meat Be Factory Farmed?

No, we do not allow factory farming on our scheme. Both the RSPCA and RSPCA Assured strongly oppose intensive farming practices, which are characterised by the use of close confinement systems (e.g. cages and crates), low space allowances for the animals, and barren environments, none of which are permitted on RSPCA Assured certified farms. 

We also strongly condemn the use of fast-growing breeds. We regard this practice as cruel and unethical and we do not permit the use of such breeds on any RSPCA Assured certified farms.

We believe that by increasing the proportion of animals being farmed to higher welfare standards and reducing the number of farmed animals overall, we will see a reduction, and eventually an end, to the intensive farming of farm animals. 

How Often Are RSPCA Assured Farms Inspected?

All farms on the RSPCA Assured scheme will receive a visit from one of our trained assessors at least once a year under normal circumstances.

What if a Farm Does Not Keep to the Standards?

When we become aware of a minor infringement of our standards, this could be anything that does not have a direct impact on the health and welfare of an animal, record-keeping, for example, the member is given a short period to prove they have put the problem right. 

If a member fails to meet the RSPCA’s welfare standards or terms of the RSPCA Assured membership agreement, we do not hesitate to suspend or remove them, when necessary. Only when we are satisfied that a member has done everything they can to rectify an issue, do we allow them to remain or rejoin the scheme.

Does RSPCA Assured Have Its Own Farms?

No, we do not own or run any farms. RSPCA Assured is a farmed animal welfare assurance scheme. We conduct assessments on farms to ensure the RSPCA’s higher welfare farmed animal welfare standards are being maintained.

Does RSPCA Assured Receive Payments From The Farming Industry?

No, as a non-profit charity, we do not receive any payments from the farming industry, nor do we receive any public or government funding. The only income we receive is an annual membership fee from our members and a licence fee for the use of the RSPCA Assured logo. 

Neither of these fees are taken as profit, they are reinvested back into the scheme and used to cover costs and make improvements. More on how RSPCA Assured is funded.

What Is RSPCA Assured?

RSPCA Assured is the RSPCA’s not-for-profit ethical food label and farmed animal welfare assurance scheme. The RSPCA works closely with industry experts, veterinarians and welfare specialists to develop higher welfare farmed animal standards. Farms can become members of RSPCA Assured when they implement these standards.

What Does RSPCA Assured Do?

We assess farms, hauliers and abattoirs to ensure they are following the RSPCA’s strict higher welfare standards for farmed animals. By adhering to these standards, farms which produce animal products can put the RSPCA Assured logo on their products. Consumers can be sure that all RSPCA Assured labelled produce has come from animals who have led better lives. 

Why Does RSPCA Assured Exist?

The sole aim of RSPCA Assured is to improve the lives of millions of farmed animals. A large portion of the world consumes animal products and the number of animals being farmed annually is increasing. Many of these animals are farmed in lower welfare conditions and under intensive farming practices, something RSPCA Assured is staunchly opposed to. We exist to progress farmed animal welfare by encouraging the food and farming industries to adopt higher welfare standards and educating consumers on higher welfare options. 

Why Does RSPCA Assured Promote Eating Animal Products?

We don’t promote eating animal products, we promote higher standards of living for farmed animals and we encourage consumers to make responsible, ethical choices. We would like to see a reduction in the consumption of animal products, so we urge those who eat meat, fish, eggs and dairy, to only eat higher welfare, RSPCA Assured products. 

What Products Carry The RSPCA Assured Logo?

You can find our logo on a variety of products including ham and bacon, chicken, salmon, eggs and milk at M&S. Find a full list of available RSPCA Assured products and which supermarkets stock them. You can also find products which contain RSPCA Assured ingredients but do not show our logo, they can be identified by wording and labelling on the back of the packaging.

How Does RSPCA Assured Differ From Other Farm Welfare Schemes?

RSPCA Assured is the only farm assurance scheme dedicated solely to farmed animal welfare. 

Is RSPCA Assured More Expensive Than Non-Assured Products?

This varies from supermarket to supermarket and is, unfortunately, something we do not have any control over. Some supermarkets place a higher markup on RSPCA Assured labelled goods than others. 

Where Can I Find More Information About RSPCA Assured Standards?

Full versions of the RSPCA’s welfare standards can be found on our industry website. These are documents produced for the industry and are a little indigestible for the general public. You may prefer to start here, where you will find a breakdown of the principal differences between the government’s baseline standards and the RSPCA’s higher welfare standards

What Are The Benefits For Animals Under The RSPCA Assured Scheme?

We insist on many higher welfare standards for animals on RSPCA Assured farms. These include things like greater space allowances, the provision of environmental enrichment objects, more comfortable living conditions, and responsible antibiotic use. Learn about the higher welfare standards on RSPCA Assured farms

Are RSPCA Assured Farms Cage-Free?

Yes. Animals on RSPCA Assured farms are never caged. Read more on UK law around battery hens.

Does RSPCA Assured Ensure Humane Slaughter?

The RSPCA’s standards insist on higher welfare for every aspect of the animals’ lives from birth through to humane slaughter, including transport.

Is RSPCA Assured A Registered Charity?

Yes, we are. We are registered with the Charity Commission and Companies House. 

How Can I Support RSPCA Assured?

Always look for the RSPCA Assured logo when you buy animal products and if possible only buy higher welfare products. If your supermarket doesn’t have higher welfare, then try browsing the plentiful veggie and vegan options available. 

Does RSPCA Assured Work With Members Outside The UK?

Yes, RSPCA Assured has members overseas including Belgium, France, Guernsey, Iceland, Ireland, Norway and Spain.

Where Can I Buy RSPCA Assured Chicken?

Here is our full list of supermarkets which stock RSPCA Assured chicken and other products.

Is McDonald’s Pork RSPCA Assured?

Yes, all pork across McDonald’s entire breakfast menu is RSPCA Assured. Read more about RSPCA Assured at McDonald's.

What Does The RSPCA Assured Logo Mean?

The RSPCA Assured label on food packaging gives shoppers a simple way to choose products that they know have come from farm animals that have had a better life and were farmed, transported and humanely slaughtered to the RSPCA’s welfare standards. These standards go above and beyond legislation and industry standards in many key welfare areas, for example, no farrowing crates, comfortable, dry bedding and a solid lying area, plenty of space to move around, and environmental ‘enrichment’ so animals can express natural behaviours, such as straw for pigs to root around in. 

Can Prawns Be RSPCA Assured?

At present, there are no RSPCA Assured prawns available. You can let your supermarket know which products you would like to find on their shelves with our Lobby Your Supermarket tool. 

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