Sunday, October 4, 2009

RSPCA Awareness Week Day 4: Choose Wisely




Choose Wisely is the RSPCA's campaign to get hens out of cages. It's called Choose Wisely because whether you're a restaurant or a household, your choices can make a real difference to hens.

We believe hens should be able to:

◦ scratch in the dirt
◦ forage for food
◦ lay their eggs in a nest
◦ stretch out and flap their wings
◦ perch and dustbathe
◦ socialise freely
◦ be protected from the elements and predators.

Choose Wisely asks businesses to commit to using free-range or barn-laid eggs at a Gold, Silver or Bronze level based on whether they use them in some or all of their products.

Gold means all egg-containing food items sold on the premises, including sauces and cakes, are made with free-range or barn-laid eggs.

Silver means free-range or barn-laid eggs are used in all egg-containing food items made on the premises. However, it is understood that cage eggs may have been used in products brought in, such as cakes and sauces.

Bronze means all whole eggs used on the premises are free-range or barn-laid. This could include fried eggs, omelettes, salads, etc. These products should be clearly labelled.

This is a big commitment so we’re also asking consumers to support those businesses that take this step and to encourage those still using cage eggs to make the change. To find a Choose Wisely restaurant or to register your restaurant visit our Choose Wisely website.

Plus, when next you’re standing in the egg aisle in the supermarket, the RSPCA asks shoppers to choose wisely and help us get hens out of cages!

Better accreditation needed for Free-Range Egg Industry

After exciting talk of certain supermarkets supporting cage-free eggs a few weeks ago, there has been a lot of talk about free range eggs this week – and not a lot is good.

An article in the Sun Herald on Sunday 6 September (click here to read) reveals that the accreditation system for free-range eggs is, in some cases, just a simple marketing exercise to push up prices.

We at the RSPCA urge our supporters not to give up on supporting the hens in free-range and barn-laid systems. In short - please keep up the fight to get hens out of cages and for free range eggs to be the standard in stores and supermarkets.

To help solve the problem of accreditation, RSPCA Australia has developed an accreditation system called the 'RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme’. So far we have signed up a good number of egg producers who meet RSPCA’s standards, but we'd love to see more.

Look out for the RSPCA ‘Paw of Approval’ on the following eggs: Modra free range eggs, Coles barn laid eggs, Pace barn laid (Liberty) eggs, Sunny Queen barn laid eggs, Ruradene free range eggs, Southern Egg barn laid eggs, MMM Farm barn laid eggs, Compass Barn laid eggs and Valley Brook barn laid eggs.

Please visit http://www.rspca.org.au/ for more details.

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