About SPCA Certified

Our certification holds farming and pet care businesses to high standards of care. Our standards are derived from the Five Domains Model of Animal Welfare.

About SPCA Certified

We have been working for over 20 years to raise the bar of welfare for New Zealand animals.

Our programme started with a focus on animal welfare improvements for farmed animals. In October 2020 we rebranded to SPCA Certified and extended standards to the pet care sector.

We believe continued improvements are key to sustainable, meaningful and positive animal welfare outcomes, and we’re encouraging New Zealanders to drive real change for animals by purchasing products and services that are SPCA Certified.

There are a number of certifications in different countries helping inform consumers of the standard of care provided to their animals.

Many SPCA organisations around the world have a similar initiative, believing in a collaborative approach with the public, farmers and business to ensure a standard of animal welfare is met, while continuing to advance animal welfare in a sustainable way.

Free farmed piglets

Why are we looking out for animals farmed for food?

SPCA Certified was set up to improve the lives of animals by working alongside the farming industry. Our aim is to raise the bar and drive continuous improvement of animal welfare for NZ’s animals.

Some people think animals should not be farmed for food, and they find it upsetting that SPCA works with farmers. The reality is that a large proportion of New Zealander’s choose to eat meat, fish, eggs and dairy. SPCA Certified works with farmers to give the animals in their care a better quality of life and to raise the bar for animal welfare.

While animals are farmed for food, SPCA will work to improve animal welfare standards in this industry.

We know it can take a long time to change people’s behaviour, so, via SPCA Certified, SPCA is working proactively with the farming industry to improve the lives of farmed animals today.

Our goal is to encourage people who already choose to eat meat, fish and eggs to buy products from producers who have given their animals better lives. The SPCA Certified blue badge makes it easy for them to do this.

How is SPCA Certified funded?

Donations to SPCA are not used to support SPCA Certified.

SPCA Certified is self-funded through payments by members.

Once a business or farm becomes an SPCA Certified member, they are asked to pay a fee for each animal under their care. Farms may have a variety of farming practices or systems, however only those that meet SPCA Certified standards can be on-sold with SPCA Certified branded packaging.

SPCA Certified runs on a non-profit model, with member payments going towards the management of the initiative. Management includes the cost of reviewing the latest research and updating the standards (standards are reviewed every three years to drive continuous improvement), researching and developing new standards and providing member support. With more SPCA standards available, the greater the opportunity for more animals to exhibit natural behaviours and experience positive mental and physical health.

How does a pet care business or farm become SPCA Certified?

We have a range of standards for animal welfare focused pet care business and farms.

If you are an animal welfare-focused pet care business or farm and would like to hear more about becoming SPCA Certified, please get in touch.

How are SPCA Certified standards met?

Businesses with SPCA certification are independently audited (at least twice a year), and receive unannounced visits by QCONZ, our third-party auditors. In addition to our third-party audits, SPCA Certified farms and pet care businesses are also visited by our SPCA Certified team. This assures consumers the businesses they’re supporting are consistently meeting our strict certification requirements and SPCA Certified businesses are receiving the support they need to keep progressing animal welfare.

If a standard is not met, the member will be issued with a ‘corrective action report’ and must have the problem rectified within the time specified by SPCA. The timeframe given is dependent on the seriousness of the corrective action issued.

Collectively, we can drive real change.

More providers becoming SPCA Certified members means more animals receiving a higher standard of care. It’s that simple.