SPCA New Zealand

100% of Ingham’s chicken now SPCA Certified

28 September 2023

SPCA is thrilled to be bringing Ingham’s barn raised chicken farms onto the charity’s SPCA Certified programme, further improving welfare standards for countless chickens across the country.

100% of Ingham’s chicken now SPCA Certified

SPCA Certified provides a set of animal welfare standards, which go above and beyond the current minimum legal requirements to raise the bar of welfare for animals in both the farming and pet care sectors.

Ingham’s free range meat chicken farms are already SPCA Certified since 2013, and now its barn chickens will also be. This makes them the first company to be 100% SPCA Certified across all their New Zealand meat chicken farms.

The company is among several other meat chicken companies that are SPCA Certified, including Bostock Brothers and Tegel Free Range.

National Manager SPCA Certified, Kelly Drake, says Ingham’s commitment to certifying its farms is a huge step towards improving welfare standards across the meat chicken farming industry.

“We’re absolutely delighted that Inghams has become 100 percent Certified for all of its free range and barn raised meat chicken farms,” says Dr Drake. “By such a large player in the industry committing to SPCA Certified standards, this will mean millions more chickens are living better lives on these farms in New Zealand - above and beyond the minimum requirements.”

SPCA Certified standards provide a significant point of difference to the welfare of barn raised chickens, holding farming to a higher standard of care using the Five Domains of Animal Welfare: good nutrition, good physical environment, good health, appropriate behavioural interactions and positive mental experiences.

Key examples for meat chicken farming include:

  • Increased space for chickens to be more active
  • More good quality dry litter to encourage dustbathing, foraging and increased comfort
  • Addition of platforms for perching to increase activity and more natural behaviours
  • Addition of environmental enrichment (toys) to peck promoting activity and increasing the complexity of the chicken’s environment
  • Four independent on-site audits per year ensuring SPCA standards are maintained/exceeded at all times
  • More daily barn walk-throughs and increased interactions with the farmer and their chickens

More than 26 million farmed animals currently benefit from a higher standard of care through SPCA’s farmed animal certification each year. Every farm or business that is SPCA Certified is regularly independently audited (annually and unannounced at times) to ensure they are consistently meeting requirements.

“By working alongside the farming industry, SPCA Certified is able to help raise the bar and drive continuous, meaningful improvement for animals. We are the only animal welfare certification programme in New Zealand that’s independent from any industry body,” says Dr Drake.

“Becoming SPCA Certified means farmers and businesses are committing to ensuring more animals receive a higher standard of care across the farming sector, while also giving people the option to choose products that meet better welfare standards.”

Consumers can look for the SPCA Certified blue badge on animal-based products at their local supermarket, and shoppers will be able to see it on Ingham’s chicken meat products from November.

Read more about the programme at SPCAcertified.nz.

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