Aviagen Rustic Gold receives RSPCA approval

Rustic Gold joins other slower-growing breed options in qualifying for the European Chicken Commitment
calendar icon 7 June 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Aviagen® is proud to announce that its Rustic Gold bird has been accepted for use under the highly respected RSPCA Assured animal welfare scheme. The Rustic Gold is the latest addition to Aviagen’s Rowan Range® of slower-growing and coloured breed options to be awarded the accreditation, alongside the previously approved Ranger Gold® and Ranger Classic®.

With a mix of brown and white plumage, the slower-growing Rustic Gold brings a balance of outstanding welfare and performance, combined with strong feed efficiency.

To be accepted under the widely recognised RSPCA Assured standard, chicken breeds are evaluated by an independent organisation. Various welfare outcomes are assessed to ensure breeds demonstrate the highest welfare outcomes.

Breeding for Welfare and Sustainability

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

“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.”

Importance to UK and European Market

RSPCA approval has great significance, not only for the UK, but also for the wider European market. With RSPCA accreditation, the Rustic Gold joins the Ranger Gold and Ranger Classic in qualifying for the European Chicken Commitment (ECC) as a result of the outstanding welfare of the breed.

Breeding Choice

Aviagen offers a diverse range of breeds to give customers choice in the markets in which they serve.

Aviagen European President Patrick Claeys comments: “We are delighted that the Rustic Gold is being recognised within the RSPCA Assured standard.”

“In addition to its excellent welfare outcomes, this ECC approved breed also provides a strong economically viable option for the slower-growing market with advantages in meat yield and feed efficiency.”

Recognising Breed Development

Kate Parkes, RSPCA chicken welfare expert, said: “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.”

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