RSPCA Assured

RSPCA Assured

Pretty good for farmed fish, but only slightly better than the minimums for animal welfare










Label Mouse says:

RSPCA Assured is only slightly higher than the legal minimum animal welfare standards and falls well short of the Soil Association’s standard.

Probably the strongest label for animal welfare in terms of farmed fish but it only covers farmed trout and salmon. The scheme's approval of underwater acoustic horns to scare off dolphins doesn't sit well with wildlife campaigners.

When it comes to non-fish the standards are just a bit better than legal minimums (and therefore Red Tractor). Dairy cows a local anaesthetic is required when removing horns (what a luxury) and outdoor grazing is 'encouraged'. Antibiotics use is monitored and should be used only when ‘necessary’, with preventative measures being encouraged. Fish must be killed humanely. The use of GM feed is not prohibited. The scheme is improving the status-quo and not working on the underlying problems with intensive farming.

NB: this label used to be called 'Freedom Food' but they updated to RSPCA Assured in 2015. If you see 'Freedom Food' logos on products it's a strong indicator they aren't up to date with certification.

They promise:

RSPCA Assured is the only assurance provider dedicated solely to animal welfare.

They stand for; No cages, Enriched living conditions, humane slaughter, more living space, responsible atibiotic usage and traceability.

Poultry must have access to enrichment such as perches, straw bales and objects to peck at, such as dangling CDs or small toys.

Pigs must be provided with plenty of comfortable material such as straw to root around in.

Cow sheds must have brushes to help them groom and calves must be given environmental enrichment such as ropes or toys.

RSPCA Assured animals can only be transported for a maximum of eight hours, which is far below the legal maximum. In many cases, the RSPCA welfare standards specify space allowances above legal requirements and other assurance providers.

RSPCA Assured farmed salmon must be given enough space to move around, a good diet, be handled carefully to minimise stress and be able exhibit their natural behaviours.

RSPCA Assured does not allow the routine use of antibiotics they require that animals are given antibiotics when they actually need them

RSPCA Assured also has its own set of standards for food manufacturers to ensure products are traceable.

Back to all food labels

What is Label Mouse?

There are a lot of food labels out there, but its pretty unclear what they mean.

With the UK leaving the EU we're able to define our own regulations on how our food is produced, the impact on the environment and how the animals involved are cared for. This could be a good or a bad thing. The extra player in the mix is that brands are introducing their own schemes which can appear more eco-friendly than they actually are.

Label Mouse does the research to help you make more informed buying choices. Hope it's useful.
Suggestions and support welcome!