18 March 2021

The RSPCA has welcomed the news that as of 17 February, all chicken used by McDonald’s Australia will be sourced from higher welfare RSPCA Approved farms.

RSPCA Australia CEO Richard Mussell said the move by McDonald’s Australia will have a profound impact on the lives of millions of Australian meat chickens every year.

“We applaud McDonald’s Australia for choosing to source chicken raised to higher welfare standards,” said Mr Mussell.

“For chickens to have a good quality of life, they need an environment that meets their physical and behavioural needs.

“By sourcing from farms participating in the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme, McDonald’s Australia is showing a strong commitment to animal welfare and supporting farming practices that are raising the bar for animal welfare."

Being RSPCA Approved means that chicken used by McDonald’s has come from farms where birds are raised to the RSPCA’s detailed animal welfare standards.

The RSPCA’s Standards are based on animal welfare science, RSPCA policy, and leading farming practices in Australia and overseas.

In addition, RSPCA Approved farms undergo a robust certification process, which includes regular on farm assessments. Brands sourcing from RSPCA Approved farms have traceability systems in place to trace product from point of sale right back to the farm.

Mr Mussell said that the announcement by McDonald’s Australia is a result of a decade-long collaboration with the RSPCA.

“The RSPCA has been assisting McDonald’s Australia for a decade in their efforts to improve animal welfare in their supply chains. As part of this, the majority of farms linked to McDonald’s key chicken suppliers have been participating in the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme for a number of years.”

The announcement of RSPCA Approved chicken at McDonald’s Australia follows the well-known brand’s transition to cage-free eggs in 2017, demonstrating the business’s commitment to making food farmed to higher welfare standards more accessible to Australian consumers.

“At the end of the day, consumers can make all the difference,” said Mr Mussell.

“By choosing food farmed to higher welfare standards when at home and dining out, every day Australians are having a big impact on the future of how animals are farmed in Australia.”

Find out more by visiting rspcaapproved.org.au