RSPCA commissions review into Freedom Food

The RSPCA has commissioned a review into its Freedom Food accreditation scheme, which assures animal welfare.

The independent, expert review, which will take place over the next few months, will help ensure high standards and make recommendations to ensure the best possible practice to the Freedom Food, which is the only farm assurance scheme recognised by the UK and EU to mark higher animal welfare.

Among the key things to implement is that the development of the RSPCA farm animal welfare standards is “organised to deliver significant improvements for farm animals”; that Freedom Food assurance certification process is “robust and sustainable” with a positive influence for the welfare of farm animals, on the farming industry, consumers, retailers, decision-makers and the wider public; and to ensure that consumers “can have confidence in the Freedom Food scheme”.

Chairman of Freedom Food Mike Tomlinson said: “The RSPCA’s Freedom Food scheme makes a very real and practical difference to the lives of millions of UK farm animals.

Chaired by London lawyer Duncan McNair, the review panel will include former Defra secretary of state and cabinet minister the Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, and Dr David Main, former member of the Farm Animal Welfare Council, current member of the Food Ethics Council and the Soil Association Council.

The panel will be assisted by the previous RSPCA chief veterinary officer and current member of both the RSPCA Trustee Council and Freedom Food Board Chris Laurence MBE.

“We are delighted to have such an expert independent panel to review the scheme. Their insights will help compassionate consumers support farmers, retailers and other aspects of the food industry that operate to our higher welfare standards to benefit the animals,” said Tomlinson.

Freedom Food covers over 46m terrestrial farm animals in the UK.

Additionally, the panel has invited submissions and evidence concerned with food animal production.


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