Due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, there’s never been a more important time to support businesses producing humane food.
The RSPCA Humane Food Team works across a variety of initiatives that strive to create a better life for farm animals, and one of the biggest farm animal welfare issues in Australia is with layer hens kept in cages, with at least 10.7 million hens confined to battery cages right now, in Australia.
This means they stand on wire flooring with no space to stretch or flap their wings or have the opportunity to dust bathe or forage, which is important in order for them to have a good quality of life.
And while many Australians are choosing cage-free eggs in the supermarket, more than 70% of the total number of layer hens in Australia are in battery cages, and their eggs end up in foods consumed when we eat out, or as ingredients in packaged products.
The RSPCA is working with industry to change standards and regulations, and with farmers and retailers to make sure better options are available, in order to create a better future for layer hens.
What they need from us is to understand what it means for a hen, and other farm animals to have a good life.
South Australian business Rohde’s Free Range Eggs are committed to humane food no matter what, and they’ve been an RSPCA approved farm for more than 14 years.
Like many other businesses, their café and restaurant income has decreased significantly due to the pandemic and while the business is adapting as much as it can by teaming up with some customers doing home delivery, supermarket demand has plateaued post Easter.
If we as consumers want to continue to access humane food, it’s important for us to seek out and continue to support humane food businesses that have made long term commitments to humane food.
Currently 3rd generation family owned and operated, Rohde’s Free Range Eggs currently have 14 free-range sheds, housing 70,000 chickens.
They’re currently building two more sheds, to bring capacity to 80,000 birds, which will mean they will be producing about 360,000 eggs/week (about 18.5 million each year).
All parts of the operation happen on the farm; once the eggs are packaged they are distributed.
Visit Rhode’s website to find out how you can support a humane food business.