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humane food20111303518

VIEWS: 10 PAGES: 6

									 humane food
What is Choose Wisely?
Choose Wisely is a celebration of animal welfare-friendly food. Choose Wisely businesses have committed
to serve eggs, chicken and pork produced from animals that have been farmed humanely. That means
layer hens, meat chickens and pigs are free to socialise and express their full range of natural behaviours.
                                                          farmed in large sheds holding around 40,000
                                                          chickens. Conventional meat chickens are kept in
                                                          barren conditions with little room to move as the bird
                                                          reaches slaughter weight. After years of selective
                                                          breeding this can be as early as 35 days old. The
                                                          birds’ fast growth can lead to leg, joint, bone and
                                                          heart problems or sudden death.

                                                          Businesses that choose their chicken meat wisely,
EGGS                                                      choose free-range and can join at two levels.
72% (or 2.1 billion) of eggs in Australia are produced    •	   Gold means all food items sold on the premises are
from hens housed in battery cages. Unable to                   made with free-range chicken.
express their natural behaviours, battery hens
live their year-long lives standing on a wire mesh        •	   Silver means free-range chicken is used in everything
floor, with less space each than this piece of paper.          made on the premises, but not necessarily in
Caged hens can’t stretch out and flap their wings,             products that are brought in.
perch, roost, dust bathe, forage for food or satisfy
                                                          pork
their natural urge to lay their eggs in a nest. It’s a
miserable life.                                           Most pigs in Australia will never step foot in the
                                                          outdoors. They can’t root in the dirt, wallow in the
Businesses that choose their eggs wisely choose
                                                          mud or forage for food. Most breeding sows in
barn-laid, free-range or RSPCA Approved and can
                                                          Australia are confined in sow stalls for all or part of
join at the Gold, Silver or Bronze level.
                                                          their pregnancy then are moved to an even smaller,
•	   Gold means all egg-containing food items sold on     farrowing crate, until their piglets are weaned. Pigs
     the premises, including sauces and cakes, are made   farmed in these systems suffer through a continuous
     with cage-free eggs.                                 cycle of chronic frustration.

•	   Silver means cage-free eggs are used in all egg-     Businesses that choose their pork wisely, choose
     containing food items made on the premises.          free-range, bred free-range or RSPCA Approved
     However, cage eggs may have been used in products    and can join at two levels.
     brought in, such as cakes and sauces.
                                                          •	   Gold means all food items sold on the premises are
•	   Bronze means all whole eggs used on the premises          made with free-range, bred free-range or RSPCA
     are cage-free (e.g. fried eggs).                          Approved Pork.

ChiCkEn                                                   •	   Silver means these higher welfare pork products are
                                                               used in everything made on the premises, but not
Meat chickens (broilers) and egg laying hens                   necessarily in products that are brought in.
are two different breeds of bird, bred for different
purposes. In Australia, most meat chickens are            Photo courtesy of AECL (Australian Egg Corporation Limited).



                                                                                       www.choosewisely.org.au
 humane food
Egg production Systems
Eggs are produced by hens living in a cage (battery farming), in a barn or free range




CAGE *                              BARN-LAID *                               FREE-RANGE

CAGE EGGS                                               BArn-LAiD EGGS
Cage eggs come from hens housed in battery              Barn-laid eggs come from hens housed in a large
cages. A battery cage is made of welded wire and        barn or shed, which contains perching facilities,
metal and will usually house 3-5 birds. The floor of    litter, nest boxes, feeders and drinkers. Most barns
the cage slopes down to the front so that the eggs      have around one-third of the floor space covered
roll away out of the cage. The hens have access to      with litter that allows for scratching and dust bathing.
food troughs and water drinkers.                        Flocks may be small (500 birds) or large (5000 birds
                                                        or more). RSPCA Approved barn-housed hens are
In newer systems, cages are stacked in several tiers,   kept at a low stocking density of 9 birds/m2, whereas
one above the other, inside a climate-controlled        conventional barns may house as many as 12-15
shed. The shed may contain as many as 100,000           birds/m2.
birds. Older systems have cages in a single tier in
sheds with natural ventilation. Modern sheds have       Barn-housed hens have the freedom to move
automated egg and manure collection systems; in         around, stretch, flap their wings, socialise, perch,
older sheds this is carried out manually.               forage and dust bathe. They are also able to lay
                                                        their eggs in a secluded nest, a behavioural priority
The current minimum space allocation for caged birds    for all hens.
(under 2.4kg) is 450cm2 floor space per bird (less
than the size of a piece of A4 paper). Regulations      FrEE-rAnGE EGGS
have been introduced to slightly increase the
minimum floor space to 550cm2 (still less than A4       Free-range eggs come from hens that have access
size) but these only apply to cages installed since     to an outdoor area during the day. At night, large
2001. The small size of cages means that birds are      flocks of free-range hens are kept in sheds or barns
unable to turn around easily, stretch out, flap their   that have similar features to those for barn-housed
wings or exercise.                                      hens. Smaller flocks may be housed in moveable
                                                        sheds to allow rotational use of the range area.
Importantly, cages do not satisfy the hen’s
behavioural need to perch, dust bathe, forage, and
lay their eggs in a secluded nest.

                                                        * Photos courtesy of AECL (Australian Egg Corporation Limited).


                                                                                    www.choosewisely.org.au
 humane food
Where are eggs in our food?
The average Australian eats 165 eggs every year but there’s a lot more to the humble egg than being
scrambled, boiled or Benedict. Eggs can pop up in a variety of foods and in some places and forms you
wouldn’t expect.

WhoLE EGG                                               whole or separated as powdered egg yolk or white.
                                                        They’re considered to be more convenient because
Whole eggs describe the egg before it’s separated       they can be stored for longer. Powdered egg can be
and processed. This is the egg people would be          used in most recipes requiring eggs.
most familiar with and the egg you buy by the
carton. If you’re eating out and you order fried eggs   ChECk ThE LABEL
then this would be a whole egg. If it looks like an
egg, it usually is!                                     If a food product contains egg or egg product it
                                                        will state it on the label through common terms
LiQUiD EGG                                              such as egg yolk, albumin, egg powder, egg
                                                        solids, mayonnaise, egg white, egg lethicin and
Liquid eggs are most often used by restaurateurs        ovalbumin.
and caterers. You can get liquid eggs whole or
separated by yolk or white – water and flavouring       While it’s easy to buy cage-free whole eggs, it’s not
is often added. Liquid egg can be found in a variety    so easy to know what type of eggs were used in the
of foods including quiches, pastries and scrambled      food products we purchase. But, unless the label
eggs.                                                   says otherwise, you can assume that cage eggs
                                                        were used.
poWDErED EGG
                                                        The RSPCA is asking consumers to help change
Powdered eggs are also most commonly used in            this. For example, ask your supermarket or local
the food service industries. Powdered eggs are          shop to stock mayonnaise made with cage-free
an alternative to fresh eggs and can be purchased       eggs. It’s as easy as that!

If you’re striving to make welfare-friendly choices, it’s important to know that many common foods contain
eggs or egg products:
• Battered/crumbed foods      • Frittatas               • Macaroons                • Mousse

• Biscuits                    • Fritters                • Malted drinks            • Omelettes

• Cakes                       • French toast            • Marshmallows             • Pastry

• Confectionery               • Glazed buns             • Marzipan                 • Pavlova

• Custards                    • Glazed fruits           • Mayonnaise               • Puddings

• Doughnuts                   • Glazed pastries         • Meat balls               • Sauces

• Egg noodles                 • Hamburgers              • Meat loaf                • Salad dressings

• Egg pasta                   • Ice blocks              • Meringue                 • Scrambled eggs

• Eggnog                      • Ice cream               • Milk drinks              • Soufflé


                                                                               www.choosewisely.org.au
humane food
Chicken production Systems
Chicken meat is produced indoors in large sheds. If chickens are given access to the outdoors, this
chicken meat is called free-range.

ConvEnTionAL ChiCkEn mEAT                               predators. All hens must have access to the range
                                                        for a minimum of eight hours per day, unless there is
Australians eat more chicken than any other country     a disease outbreak or extreme weather conditions.
in the world - around 35 kilograms per person           When indoors, hens should have access to litter for
every year. 461 million meat chickens (broilers) are    scratching and dustbathing and to perches for bone
produced in Australia every year.                       strength.
The RSPCA’s primary concerns relating to the            It’s important the free-range chicken meat that you
welfare of meat chickens are i) breeding for a fast     buy is certified by an appropriate body like the Free
growth rate ii) overcrowding iii) inadequate lighting   Range Egg and Poultry Association (FREPA) or
iv) barren environment, and v) rough treatment          Certified Organic. That way you can check that you
during catching, transport and slaughter.               are happy with their standards for animal weflare.
The majority of meat chickens are kept in               Unfortunately, due to inadequate labelling laws in
overcrowded sheds and never step foot outside.          Australia, there is no guarantee as to the quality of
Selective breeding for fast growth rates means that     the range and whether the birds accesses it.
birds can reach slaughter weight as young as 35         Talk to your supplier about these issues and
days old. This fast growth can lead to leg disorders,   consider talking to the producer as well so you can
heart problems and sudden death.                        be confident you are getting what you pay for.
By the time birds reach slaughter weight sheds are
often so overcrowded that birds stand shoulder to       rSpCA ApprovED ChiCkEn
shoulder with little room to move, stretch out and      The RSPCA is finalising its standards for chicken
flap their wings. Sheds can be dark and dismal          meat and will be ready to sign up producers of
places and if litter isn’t managed properly, ammonia    higher welfare chicken in early 2010.
can build up and cause painful skin burns.

FrEE-rAnGE ChiCkEn
Free-range chickens have access to the outdoors.
How much access they have and how easy it is to
get outside depends on the farm.

The RSPCA believes a true free-range environment
should provide hens with sufficient space to exhibit
their natural behaviours. Hens should have easy
access to and from the outdoors through good-sized
openings or pop holes; a quality outdoor area with
room for all birds to roam with palatable vegetation
for foraging; adequate shelter on the range so birds
are protected from the elements and predators; and      MEAT CHICKENS ARE HEAVIER AND STOCKIER THAN LAYER
secure fences to keep out foxes, rodents and other      HENS AS THEY ARE BRED FOR A DIFFERENT PURPOSE



                                                                               www.choosewisely.org.au
 humane food

pig production Systems
Pigs are farmed to produce a range of products including pork, bacon, ham and salami. In Australia pork
is produced from pigs farmed indoors, outdoors or a combination of both.
                                                           express their full range of natural behaviours. They
                                                           can root in the dirt, wallow in the mud, socialise and
                                                           forage for food.

                                                           Farrowing huts are provided for breeding sows and
                                                           shelters are easily accessible to provide protection
                                                           from the elements.

                                                           BrED FrEE-rAnGE pork
                                                           This means that the sows live and breed in a free-
                                                           range environment but the weaned piglets are
                                                           grown out in sheds or eco shelters. An eco shelter
                                                           is a large open-sided shed with a floor covered in
                                                           straw for the pigs to root in.
SOW STALLS


ConvEnTionAL pork                                          rSpCA ApprovED pork

Most pork in Australia comes from pigs that are kept       Pork approved by the RSPCA is from free-range,
in barren, indoor systems. The majority of breeding        bred free-range or enhanced indoor farming
sows are confined in sow stalls for all or part of their   systems that cater to all a pig’s physical, behavioural
pregnancies. Sow stalls are metal-barred crates 2          and welfare needs. Sow stalls and farrowing crates
metres long by 60cm wide. A sow stall is about as          are not used and pigs don’t have their teeth clipped
big as the sow herself. She can only take one small        or tails docked. Pigs cannot be surgically castrated.
step forward and back. She can’t lie down or move          RSPCA Approved farms undergo a regular and
very easily. Sows in sow stalls become chronically         stringent inspection process.
frustrated and a lack of movement and exercise
leads to painful muscle and joint problems.

When a sow is ready to give birth she is moved into
a farrowing crate, which is even smaller than a sow
stall (50cm wide) and separates the sow from her
piglets. Once the piglets are weaned at 4 - 6 weeks
of age the sow is made pregnant again and then the
cycle continues. Her piglets are grown out in group
pens with concrete floors and no bedding.

FrEE-rAnGE pork
Pigs that are raised in a free-range environment
are not confined indoors and have the freedom to           BRED FREE-RANGE PIG FARM




                                                                                  www.choosewisely.org.au
 humane food

rSpCA Approved Farming
Chicken production Systems
Chicken meat is produced the RSPCA has developed the RSPCA Approved to the Scheme, an
As well as Choose Wisely,indoors in large sheds. If chickens are given accessFarmingoutdoors, this
chicken meat is called for egg and
accreditation program free-range. pork (and soon chicken) producers who raise their animals to the
                                                       predators. All hens stamped with the to the range
RSPCA’s high animal welfare standards. RSPCA Approved products are must have access RSPCA Paw
ConvEnTionAL ChiCkEn mEAT
of Approval.                                           for a minimum of eight hours per day, unless there is
Australians eat more chicken than any other country a disease outbreak or extreme weather conditions.
Egg producers and pig farmers whose farms meet pork
in the world - around 35 kilograms per person
the RSPCA’s standards can apply. Companies When indoors, hens should have access to litter for
every year. 461 million meat chickens (broilers) are scratching and dustbathing and to require for pigs
marketing eggs or pork products supplied by The standards for pork production perches thatbone
produced in Australia every year.                      strength.
approved producers can also participate. Once the are kept in a well-managed environment — either
The has been approved, the RSPCA Approved              an extensive outdoor system or an enhanced indoor
farm RSPCA’s primary concerns relating to the It’s important the free-range chicken meat that you
            meat chickens are breeding for a fast buy is certified provides for the pigs’ behavioural
Farmingoflogo may be used i)so consumers can system — thatby an appropriate body like the Free
welfare
growth rate ii) overcrowding iii) inadequate lighting Range Egg needs, and require that considerate
readily identify these higher animal welfare products. and physical and Poultry Association (FREPA) or
                                       allow regular Certified transportation and humane slaughter are
RSPCA Approved farms mustrough treatment handling,Organic. That way you can check that you
iv) barren environment, and v)
inspections to ensure that andwelfare requirements used. The RSPCA does not approve farms that use
during catching, transport the slaughter.              are happy with their standards for animal weflare.
are maintained.                                        sow stalls or farrowing crates. The housing system
                                                       Unfortunately, due to
The majority of meat chickens are kept in must provide beddinginadequate labelling laws to
                                                                                and the space for pigs
                                                                                                          in
                                                       Australia, there is no guarantee as to the quality of
overcrowded sheds and never step foot outside. express most normal behaviours.
EGGS
Selective breeding for fast growth rates means that the range and whether the birds accesses it.
Undercan reach slaughter weight as young as 35 RSPCA Approved pork has the RSPCA logo on the
birds the RSPCA standards for egg production, Talk to your supplier about these issues and
battery cages are not allowed.lead to leg disorders, packaging. Two pork producers have been approved
days old. This fast growth can The hens have litter consider talking to the producer as well so you can
to use for dust and sudden death. flap their wings, by the RSPCA to date.
heart problems bathing; space to                       be confident you are getting what you pay for.
stretch and socialise; nests for egg laying; adequate
                                                       Otway Pork currently supplies outlets in Victoria,
By the time birds reach slaughter food sheds are
perch space; constant access to weightand water; rSpCA ApprovED ChiCkEn
                                                       New South Wales, the ACT and South Australia.
often so overcrowded that birds stand shoulder
and protection from predators and the elements. to
shoulder with little room to move, stretch out and Details of where their products are sold chicken
                                                       The RSPCA is finalising its standards for
                                                                                                    can be
flap their wings. eggs have the RSPCA logo on the meat at http://www.otwaypork.com.au.
RSPCA Approved Sheds can be dark and dismal found and will be ready to sign up producers of
places You litter isn’t managed properly, ammonia Gooralie pork products are currently available
carton. and ifcan find them at major supermarkets. higher welfare chicken in early 2010.
can build up and cause at your local supermarket at outlets in New South Wales and Queensland.
If they are not availablepainful skin burns.
or food store, ask the store management to stock
                                                       For details visit http://www.gooraliefreerangepork.
them. The RSPCA approves Modra Free Range
FrEE-rAnGE ChiCkEn                                     com.au.
eggs; Coles Barn Laid Eggs; Sunny Queen Barn
Free-range chickens Free Range eggs; Southern
Laid eggs; Ruradene have access to the outdoors.
How much access they have and Barn Laid eggs,
Egg Barn Laid eggs; MMM Farm how easy it is to
get outside depends on the farm.
Compass Barn Laid eggs, Golden Eggs Barn Laid
The and Valley Brook true Laid eggs.
eggsRSPCA believes a Barnfree-range environment
should provide hens with sufficient space to exhibit
Be aware of misleading labels such as ‘vegetarian
their If the behaviours. Hens should have easy
eggs’.natural label specifies ‘cage eggs’, the hens
access to and from in outdoors through good-sized
have been housed thebattery cages. If the housing
openings or specified, a quality outdoor area with
system is notpop holes; you can assume the carton
room for all birds to
contains cage eggs. roam with palatable vegetation
for foraging; adequate shelter on the range so birds
are protected from the elements and predators; and
secure fences to keep out foxes, rodents and other


                                                                              www.choosewisely.org.au

								
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