AVIAGEN has announced its Rustic Gold breed has been approved by the RSPCA Assured animal-welfare scheme. 

It forms part of the firm’s Rowan Range of slower-growing breeds tailored towards meeting the European Chicken Commitment. 

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To be accepted under the RSPCA Assured standard, chicken breeds are evaluated by an independent organisation. 

Various welfare outcomes are assessed to ensure breeds demonstrate the highest welfare outcomes.

Aviagen European Director of Research and DevelopmentDr Brendan Duggan said: “Both our conventional and slower-growing breeds are selected for health, welfare and sustainability characteristics as part of our balanced breeding approach.” 

Enhanced welfare

“Aviagen continues to work closely with the RSPCA and other organisations across Europe as we continue to enhance welfare across our entire choice of breeds.”

The RSPCA’s Kate Parkes added: “We are delighted that Aviagen is committed to higher animal welfare by developing a range of breeds that are suitable for use within the RSPCA Assured scheme. 

“The development of the Rustic Gold breed means more chickens are able to live better, healthier lives, and this also benefits the industry by providing producers and consumers with a greater choice. 

“We know there is demand from consumers for higher welfare products so we hope this step will mean even more people can choose to buy higher welfare chicken.”