EDINBURGH, United Kingdom. – Aviagen® has secured RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) acceptance for two of its slower-growing products, the Ranger Gold™ and the Ranger Classic™, part of the company’s Rowan Range® portfolio. This means they are now eligible for use under the highly respected and recognized RSPCA Assured scheme; the only UK farm assurance scheme solely focused on farm animal welfare.
In order to be accepted for use under RSPCA Assured, breeds are assessed by an independent body against The RSPCA’s welfare assessment protocol. The RSPCA standards cover every aspect of an animal’s life, including health, diet, environment and care. The scheme offered two levels of acceptance; the Ranger Gold has been accepted for free range, indoor and organic production, while the Ranger Classic has been accepted for indoor production under a collaborative agreement to improve specific traits.
The Ranger Gold and the Ranger Classic offer leading performance for meat production at the same time as delivering excellent health and welfare characteristics.
Achieving this acceptance is an important and positive step in the development of Aviagen’s slower-growing product range in the UK, where there is an increasing consumer interest in this niche market segment.
“Aviagen’s long-term commitment is to provide a variety of products which offer excellent welfare and deliver improved economic and environmental sustainability in both conventional and niche segments of the broiler market. We have been working closely with the RSPCA for several years and are delighted to further enhance our accreditation status for the products within our slower-growing portfolio.” said Aviagen Ltd general manager Magnus Swalander.
Sophie Elwes, RSPCA chicken welfare scientist, said: “The RSPCA is delighted that Aviagen is committed to developing a range of breeds that are suitable for use within the RSPCA Assured scheme; the Ranger Gold and the Ranger Classic will benefit members of the RSPCA Assured scheme, who can now choose to source these new breeds. This development should serve the wider industry by providing them with a greater choice of breeds that deliver high welfare and align with growing consumer interest in this area.”
Clive Brazier, chief executive of RSPCA Assured, said: We welcome this opportunity to work with Aviagen and, in having these new breeds accepted for use in the RSPCA Assured scheme, help bring further improvement to chicken welfare. In being able to offer a greater choice of breeds to producers, we have the potential to bring many more birds into the RSPCA Assured Scheme and given consumers a wider choice.”