RSPCA ASSURED is set to double its base annual fee for farmers using the scheme.
For pullet, laying hen and turkey producers, the basic membership will rise from £142.80/year to £299/year, with additional amounts due depending on the number of birds kept (see table below).
See also: No sign of poultry ration cost relief
The assurance scheme said the increase was needed because of rising costs and was the first time prices had increased for nine years.
A spokesperson said: “We completely understand that it is never good news to hear that prices are increasing.
“It’s not something we want to be doing and isn’t a decision we have taken lightly.
“We are very mindful of the difficult financial challenges faced by many of our members and always work hard to offer the very best service we can, at the most reasonable cost.
“However, with rising inflation and other operating costs – which have risen by nearly 50% over the last five years – a huge strain has been put on our resources.
“As such, as a non-profit-making charity, we now have no option but to increase our fees.
“This is to ensure we can continue offering the best higher welfare assurance scheme and service to our members that we can.
“It’s the first increase we have made in nine years and we have kept it to the absolute minimum.
“The fees only partly cover the cost of assessments, whilst we subsidise the rest.
“And, as a charity, we plough all income from the fees directly back into the running of RSPCA Assured and helping improve farm animal welfare – we do not profit from them.
“It is regrettable that some members may find the increase difficult but, in comparison to other farm assurance schemes, we remain highly competitive and represent very good value for the service we deliver, and the certification mark we provide.”
|Cost From 1 Septembe
|One-off joining fee £36.00 PLUS
|Pullets and turkeys
Up to 12,000 birds
|Additional multiples of 12,000 birds
Up to 6,000 birds
|Additional multiples of 6,000 birds
|Chickens and ducks
|Up to 30,000 birds £142.80
|Poultry catching team(s)
|Each additional team