Welfare Friendly

Buy WELFARE FRIENDLY and Make a Difference

Do you know what a difference you can make to the life of chickens and other animals farmed in similar conditions, by just making an informed choice?


Make the Difference

Welfare Friendly Products

There has been much discussion, as well as incorrect speculation in some cases, regarding the checks and balances in place for the producers of free range products. The NSPCA would like to enlighten caring consumers on the importance of recognising welfare friendly products. We also wish to share future strategy to ensure that all advertising and marketing accurately reflects the method of production. Although retailers have their own enhanced protocols and standards in place, there are presently no audits undertaken or standards implemented in conjunction with leading / statutory animal welfare bodies in South Africa.

Remember - ask for WELFARE FRIENDLY products!

The principle of asking for WELFARE FRIENDLY applies to all animal-derived products including but not limited to beef, pork, sheep and lamb. And of course when buying honey ask for BADGER FRIENDLY honey!

Examples of animal-derived products, which may be misleading:
Milk and Dairy Products
Eggs and Chicken products

Wouldn't it be great if people who order take outs or who eat out, start demanding a consumer choiced range of animal welfare friendly farmed products? You have the power.


In terms of Free Range regulations, the only products that are regulated by government are Free Range Eggs and Chickens. All other free range products may not legally carry the claim of ‘Free Range' or similar claims unless they are registered and recognised by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Flaws within this legislation have now been acknowledged by the Department and new legislation is in the pipeline. In the Meantime, what is the NSPCA doing? The NSPCA has on several occasions submitted official complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa against several such claims. These do not always make headlines or get publicised, but we are very active in this field.

What the labels really mean

Consumer demands for more humane production of eggs and the marked increase in demand for free-range eggs has led to labelling on packaging which we believe requires explanation. Don't be misled. We provide the following guide to help you make an informed decision.

Organic Free-Range

These eggs are produced by free-range hens that are fed on grains and pulses grown without pesticides, chemical fertilisers or genetically engineered ingredients.

Omega 3-Enriched

Omega 3 fats, which are excellent for brain functioning, the immune and nervous systems and healthy hearts, are found in oily fish. These hens are fed salmon oil as part of their diet. Omega 3-enriched eggs are not necessarily free range.

Free Range

The chickens that lay these eggs are exposed to sunlight and grass pastures. They have room to scratch, flap their wings and bath in the dust. Their diet is not necessarily vegetarian – it could include insects or fishmeal.


These eggs are produced by chickens that live inside but are not kept in cages. Woolworth's barn eggs are laid by chickens fed a vegetarian diet of grains and pulses.

Grain Fed

Grain-fed chickens do not eat commercial feed, which can include fish and chicken meal. These eggs are not free range and not necessarily barn. The chickens may be kept in cages.

Commercial ("Battery”)

These are the cheapest eggs to buy and make up the bulk of eggs consumed in the country. The chickens are kept in cages and fed meal, which includes grains, pulses and processed fish. The animals live several to a cage with the space per chicken being equivalent to that of an A4 sized piece of paper. The chickens are unable to stretch their wings, are forced to "sit” on wire mesh and cannot exhibit natural behaviour. The SPCA movement opposes this type of "factory-farming” or egg production.

Updated: 11 April 2013

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