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Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking

Since 1824, the RSPCA has been working to prevent cruelty, promote kindness, and alleviate the suffering of animals by using all available lawful means.

One of the founders of the RSPCA, William Wilberforce, went on to champion the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire. To this day, our work is still underpinned by his vision of a caring world where all animals and people are respected and treated equally with compassion.

What Is RSPCA Assured?

RSPCA Assured is a limited company with charitable status owned by the RSPCA. As a food labelling scheme, we have been helping improve the lives of farm animals for more than a quarter of a century. Officially registered as Freedom Food (Company No. 02723670), we have gone by the name RSPCA Assured since 2015. You can find out more about the history of RSPCA Assured here.

Delivering Animal Welfare Ethically

We operate a number of internal policies to ensure that we are delivering our animal welfare objectives in an ethical and transparent manner.

These Include:
  • Recruitment policy. We operate a robust recruitment policy, including conducting 'eligibility to work in the UK' checks for all employees to safeguard against human trafficking or individuals being forced to work against their will.
  • Whistleblowing policy. We operate a whistleblowing policy and confidential reporting line so that all employees and volunteers know that they can raise concerns about how colleagues are being treated, or practices within the charity, without fear of reprisals.
  • Safeguarding: We have worked with the Social Care Institute for Excellence to redesign our safeguarding policy and commence a programme of charity-wide training on adult and child safeguarding, including a dedicated website and reporting channel.
  • Code of Conduct. We set high standards for the manner in which we behave as an organisation and how we expect our people to act.

There have been no major changes to our services and activities since our last published Modern Slavery Statement.

Modern Slavery Act Statement

This is made under section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. It constitutes our Anti-slavery and Human Trafficking Statement for the financial year ending 31 December 2022. This statement is approved by our Board, signed by the CEO and reviewed annually.

William Wilberforce, who led the anti-slavery movement in England during the early nineteenth century, was one of our founders. We wholeheartedly support the principles behind the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and are undertaking the steps listed below in order to comply with the Act and guard against slavery and trafficking in our supply chain. We will continue to develop and build upon these activities throughout 2022 and 2023.

  • Publish this statement in our Trustees Annual Report and website homepage
  • Formalise ownership and governance around Modern Slavery in the wider ESG agenda
  • Continue to insert relevant provisions into current supply contracts and seek positive confirmation from high-risk and key suppliers of their compliance with the Act, including subcontractors through a robust diligence process
  • Develop our dialogue with key tier 1 suppliers on our expectations in relation to Supply Chain Human Rights and establish a framework for tier 2 providers to engage in additional Due Diligence
  • Provide additional training on detection and prevention to our staff most likely to come across exploitative and illegal practices, such as forced labour and domestic servitude, with a specific focus on
  • RSPCA Assured staff who manage the accreditation process and the inspectorate
  • Establish further organisation-wide training programmes on slavery and human trafficking matters to be made available to staff
  • Define and implement reporting and monitoring mechanisms reflecting our progression in slavery and human trafficking remediation and prevention activities.

Adopted 16 March 2022 by the RSPCA Board of Trustees

Chris Sherwood CEO
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