AR Investigation6

Source: Animal Rising

New footage from over 40 UK farms published by campaign group Animal Rising were described as ‘beyond barbaric’  

RSPCA Assured has insisted welfare breaches on accredited farms are “very rare” after it came under fire this week over a series of allegations of animal abuse.

New footage from over 40 UK farms published by campaign group Animal Rising showed scenes including chicks dying on poultry farms and pigs left dead for days in filthy sheds.

The campaign group described the scenes as “beyond barbaric”.

RSPCA president Chris Packham said in an interview with the Sunday Times at the weekend that the footage was “indefensible” and has called for the suspension of the scheme.

But in response to the campaign, RSPCA Assured said it took all “allegations extremely seriously” and that an “immediate, urgent investigation” had been launched.

“RSPCA Assured was set up solely to improve farmed animal welfare and any allegations of poor welfare, or breaches of the RSPCA welfare standards, are very upsetting and always urgently looked into,” said a spokesperson.

Read more: Chris Packham on taking his environmental crusade into grocery

The spokesperson added that “welfare breaches are very rare”, explaining that last year 89% of RSPCA Assured member farmers were meeting all of the welfare standards or had fewer than five breaches. Breaches don’t necessarily indicate an animal welfare issue, but could be incorrect paperwork or a broken fence, they clarified.

“Twenty-three RSPCA Assured members had breaches significant enough to warrant suspension or withdrawal from the scheme, which accounts for less than 1% of the members of the scheme,” the spokesperson said.

It comes as Animal Rising attacked a portrait of the King in a London art gallery yesterday to further raise publicity about its campaign. The King is a patron of the RSPCA. 

No cheese, Gromit.

Source: Animal Rising

The group pasted over the royal portrait with a picture of Wallace from Wallace and Gromit, and added a speech bubble reading, “No cheese, Gromit. Look at all this cruelty on RSPCA farms!”

“This investigation has blown the lid off the RSPCA’s dirty secret: it is happy to rubber-stamp cruelty on factory farms and industrial animal abuse,” said Animal Rising co-director Rose Patterson.

“I’ve personally spent months investigating and cataloguing a litany of suffering across farms that the public is told to trust. Some of the scenes we’ve seen in the sheds endorsed by the RSPCA are beyond barbaric,” she added. 

“We will continue to work with our members and retailer partners, as a priority, to look at ways to further improve compliance with the RSPCA’s welfare standards and reassure the public of the high standards we insist upon,” said the RSPCA Assured spokesperson.