Tony McDougal writes this week in Poultry World, that poultry genetics giant Aviagen has become the latest company to secure RSPCA Assured accreditation for two of its slower growing broiler breeds, Ranger Gold and Ranger Classic.

Ranger Gold has been accepted for free range, indoor and organic production, while the Ranger Classic has been accepted for indoor production under a collaborative agreement to improve specific traits.  Chickens accredited under RSPCA Assured can be free range or kept indoors with plenty of space and natural light. If indoors, they have a maximum stocking density of 30kg/square metre and use intermediate growth rate breeds with less than 45g/ day average growth compared to commercial strains’ 53-63g/day. The standards also have requirements which cover health, diet, environment and care. 

Magnus Swalander, Aviagen general manager, said the two birds offered leading performance for meat production at the same time as delivering excellent health and welfare characteristics.  He goes on to explain that "the move was an important step in the development of Aviagen’s slow-growing product range in the UK, where there is an increasing consumer interest in the niche sector. Until now, Hubbard and Sasso have been among the market leaders."

Sophie Elwes, RSPCA chicken welfare scientist, said the development should serve the wider industry by providing them with a greater choice of breeds that delivered high welfare and aligned with growing consumer interest. “The Ranger Gold and Ranger Classic will benefit members of the RSPCA assured scheme, who can now choose to source these new breeds.”

The full article can be read at http://www.poultryworld.net/UK/Articles/2017/5/Aviagen-breeds-win-RSPCA-...