In an Australian first, Huon Aquaculture remains the only seafood producer in RSPCA’s Approved Farming Scheme.
Three years on from the initial approval in July 2018, fish welfare remains essential to every aspect of what we do. That’s why we are committed to meeting RSPCA’s 400 detailed animal welfare standards, not just today, but every day.
We continue to work with RSPCA to continuously improve our fish welfare. Every year, all our farming practices and sites, from freshwater hatcheries to marine grow-out, are assessed by the RSPCA to ensure best practice welfare outcomes are applied to all of our fish.
Being able to supply Australia’s only range of RSPCA Approved Salmon means that consumers that care and want the best for themselves and their families can now do that with confidence by choosing Huon. With a growing number of Australians including fish in their diets, it’s important that caring consumers have the opportunity to choose a product that has been raised to a high standard of animal welfare – Huon are leading the way in offering Australians a humanely farmed salmon product.
This accreditation is important to Huon because animal welfare is important. Over the past several years as salmon consumption has increased, so has the desire for consumers to know more about the salmon that they are eating and by continuing to maintain RSPCA Approval animal welfare is front-of-mind for our staff and our consumers.
Achieving and maintaining this accreditation hasn’t happened overnight—we have worked closely with the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme over many years to meet their high standards and it is something that everyone working for Huon has been instrumental in achieving.
Huon RSPCA FAQs
What is the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme?
The RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme is the RSPCA’s farm assurance program dedicated to improving the welfare of as many farm animals as possible by working with farmers to provide an environment that better meets the animal’s behavioural needs. In 2016 animal welfare standards for farmed Atlantic salmon were added to the Scheme with a focus on meeting the fish’s physical and behavioural needs. The standards require all persons managing and handling fish to be trained and competent to handle them in a manner that limits stress and other negative impacts on the fish. They also aim to ensure that fish are held in good quality water and are provided with sufficient oxygen and feed, freedom from injury, stress, deformation, disease and predators, as well as enough space to swim effortlessly and perform schooling behaviour with other fish.
Why did Huon pursue RSPCA Approval?
We pursued RSPCA Approval as it reflects our commitment of placing fish health and welfare at the centre of our farming operations. It is this ethos that has stood us in good stead for the last 32 years and will for many more years to come. By 2025, demand for animal protein is set to double which is why ethical, sustainable farming could not be more crucial. We need to farm the oceans in a way that protects wild stocks, preserves the environment and provides safe, healthy food for a growing global population.
Why isn’t salmon grown in Macquarie Harbour covered under the Scheme?
It is no secret that we have concerns over the health of Macquarie Harbour, as does the RSPCA. RSPCA Australia is of the view that the environmental conditions within the harbour still present a high risk of poor welfare outcomes for the salmon farmed in this location. As a result, they have taken the decision not to allow farming of salmon in Macquarie Harbour as part of the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme.
Around 10 per cent of our overall production is in Macquarie Harbour and as a company, we have taken proactive steps to mitigate against these environmental conditions including installing oxygenation systems on our pens, reducing stocking density and bringing forward our harvest. Since becoming certified, this figure has dropped to 2 per cent of salmon production (as at June 2021).
Does Huon have exclusive rights to RSPCA accreditation?
Huon does not have exclusive rights to RSPCA accreditation. RSPCA Approval is open to all salmon farmers and they too can become RSPCA Approved providing that they meet the requirements of the Scheme.
Did Huon pay to get RSPCA accreditation?
No, RSPCA Approval is not a pay-for-play accreditation and as such, the only money that has changed hands was a licencing fee for Huon to be able to use the RSPCA Approved logo on our packaging. This Licencing fee covers the costs of ongoing audits, management and promotion of RSPCA Approval.
How will RSPCA Australia monitor the farms?
It is important that the RSPCA’s high standards of animal welfare are maintained at all times, so just like every other farmer participating in the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme, our farms are audited by the RSPCA and the harvest is recorded on CCTV and can be reviewed anytime at the request of the RSPCA.