The number of animals farmed under the RSPCA’s Freedom Food scheme has increased by more than 50% in the past five years.

Over 75 million animals are now raised according to the scheme’s standards.

The biggest increase relates to pig production, with numbers up 84% since the end of 2006 to more than 2.5 million, accounting for more than a quarter (28%) of UK production.

Freedom Food chicken numbers rose by 60% to 40 million, equating to 5% of supply.

Consistent consumer demand for the products had helped millions more farm animals have a better life, said Freedom Food chief executive Leigh Grant. However, as only 8% of the UK’s billion farm animals were under the scheme, there was more work to do, he admitted.

“The more shoppers demand Freedom Food products, the more supermarkets will stock them and the more farm animals will have a better life.”

The RSPCA is calling on shoppers to make a small change to their weekly shop by choosing Freedom Food-endorsed products.