SPCA gives “blue badge” certification to Ingham’s chickens.
Leading chicken supplier Ingham’s say a New Zealand-first certification by the SPCA means all their chickens will have “better lives”.
The SPCA has awarded its revered Animal Welfare Certified badge, known as the blue badge, to barn-raised chicken farms for the first time, with Ingham’s, the first and only company to meet these rigorous new animal welfare standards.
The official approval from New Zealand’s oldest and largest animal welfare charity means all of Ingham’s chicken farms are now SPCA Certified – and Ingham’s New Zealand chief executive Ed Alexander says animal welfare has always been top priority.
“We know Kiwis love their chicken – more than a third of all our meals with meat are chicken, and we also know how much Kiwis care about the way animals are farmed in Aotearoa, so this was always an important benchmark for us to reach, especially to be the first to do so.
“We’re proud to say that being 100 per cent SPCA Certified means that all of our chickens will have better lives. Our operations have always been welfare-focused, so this association with SPCA has been our motivation to make tweaks we needed to – and wanted to.
“Now we can proudly bear the SPCA Certified blue badge on all our chicken meat products, which we hope sets a benchmark for the entire industry.”
SPCA Certified national manager Kelly Drake says the charity is pleased to add barn-raised meat chicken farming to their growing list of SPCA Certified standards: “SPCA is delighted that Ingham’s has become 100 per cent SPCA Certified for all of their free-range and barn-raised meat chicken farms.
“This will mean millions more chickens are living better lives on these farms in New Zealand – above and beyond minimum legal requirements.
“By working alongside the farming industry, SPCA Certified is able to help raise the bar and drive continuous, meaningful improvement for NZ’s animals. We are the only animal welfare certification programme in New Zealand independent from any industry body. We believe our members want the same as we do – healthy animals on their farms and in their businesses.”
All SPCA Animal Welfare Certification standards for chickens are specific, measurable, science-based and provide a significant point of difference to the welfare of barn-raised chickens – especially when compared to the minimum standard required by law.
Every care standard must be met by chicken farmers wanting to become SPCA Certified. These include:
- More space for chickens to be active.
- Quality dry litter for natural foraging activity and comfort.
- Increased ventilation.
- More natural environmental features, including perching platforms and curiosity items to peck.
- More daily barn walk-throughs and interactions with the farmer.
- Four independent on-site audits per year ensuring SPCA standards are maintained (non-SPCA Certified farms have no required on-site animal welfare audits).
- No hormones/antibiotic use for growth promotion purposes (Even prior to this SPCA Certification, Ingham’s did not permit the use of hormones or antibiotics for growth promotion purposes).
Ingham’s barn-raised chicken products – complete with the SPCA Certified blue badge – will be in supermarkets from November.
For more information: Inghams.co.nz