Call for honesty in chicken labelling

PUBLISHED ON: 30 July 2012

UPDATE 16 Oct 2012: Great news! Following pressure from Animals Australia supporters and other caring members of the community, APIA has withdrawn its application for the proposed 'Free Range Standards' trademark.

This is a significant development for the wellbeing of chickens raised in Australia for meat, but with no national legally enforceable free range standards, choosing alternatives is still a crucial way to ensure that animals don't suffer for your food.


First it was the egg corporation undermining free range standards. Now the big players in the chicken meat industry are looking to cash in on increased demand for free range chicken and turkey meat.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is seeking public comment on an application from the Australian Poultry Industries Association* (APIA) to trademark its proposed 'Free Range Standards' . If approved, these standards would permit chickens to be stocked outdoors at up to 150,000 birds per hectare — 100 times greater than what national guidelines recommend and 30 times higher than European standards allow.

The proposed APIA standard may give birds the opportunity to go outdoors and provides more space than conventional indoor systems, but if stocked at the maximum density APIA is suggesting each chicken would have about the space of an A4 piece of paper in the outdoor range area. To label such chickens as free range would be nothing short of misleading for consumers.

The fact major industry players are recognising the drop in consumer support for factory farming is positive. But any adjustment they make to improve welfare standards needs to be accurately labelled.

* APIA represents Inghams Enterprises, Baiada Poultry, Turi Foods, Cordina Chicken Farms, Golden Cockerel and Hazeldene's Chicken Farms and Red Lea Chickens.

  • Or post it to:
    The General Manager
    Adjudication Branch
    Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
    GPO Box 3131


    Find out more about the chicken meat industry and how you can help chickens here.

  • Love animals? Subscribe and help end animal abuse:
    I've read and accept the privacy policy
    Like Animals Australia On Facebook
    UP NEXT...
    Lyn White, Campaign Director at Animals Australia, spoke to audiences across the country — and asked one simple question: 'Does history have to repeat itself or is it possible to have a kinder, more peace... Watch now » »

    What contributes more to climate change than all the world’s planes, trains and automobiles combined? Hint: it’s not coal and it’s not good for humanity! Read more » »

    Our appetite for beef, dairy and fish is wiping out wild animals, and even threatening our own survival. Discover why » »

    The sun on their faces. The grass under their feet. A spring in their step. All animals deserve freedom. Watch the heartwarming video now. Watch the heart-warming video » »

    For the first time, an Australian organisation has been selected as a “standout charity” by U.S.-based Animal Charity Evaluators! Animals Australia has been awarded this evaluation in recognition of our efforts... Read more » »

    We all know that eating vegan is better for your health, animals and the planet. But sometimes you just want a big bowl of the hearty, familiar foods you know and love. These recipes are for you. Dig in » »

    Investigations have revealed widespread puppy factory cruelty in Australia. Discover the truth, and what you can do to help. Read more » »

    Love a documentary that opens your eyes and expands your mind? These are definitely for you ... Expand your mind » »

    What began as a basic love for animals led Ian to find a passion for rescuing roos and other beloved Aussie natives. Read more » »

    Despite the nightly news doing its best to depress, from Australia to Brazil, China to Norway, there is one trait that unites humankind all over the world — kindness. Read on to discover some of the best animal... Be inspired » »