Farmed animals

Over the past two decades we’ve raised the standard of care for farmed animals by encouraging farmers to make the necessary improvements to become certified.

Chinook (King) Salmon (Hāmana)

SPCA Certified Chinook Salmon come from freshwater and seawater farming systems that meet the needs of the fish and promote positive experiences. The standards span all life-stages of the fish, from eggs to adults.

What does a Chinook Salmon want?

  • To have clean, oxygenated water, of an appropriate temperature and flow to maintain good health and welfare.

  • To have an appropriate number and species of enclosure mates to encourage natural social behaviours.

  • To be looked after kindly and compassionately, with minimal handling.

  • To have a safe, enriched environment where they can express their natural behaviours and have opportunities to explore.

What SPCA Certified means for Chinook Salmon (New Zealand currently does not have a Code of Welfare for Fish, however, farmed finfish are mentioned in the Code of Welfare for Commercial Slaughter)

SPCA Certified requirement Why? Code of Welfare Minimum Standard
Fish must be able to move freely in their enclosure to explore natural or induced environmental gradients to locate their preferred temperature, current velocity, light levels, buoyancy control and for information gathering. Allows fish to perform natural behaviours and provides opportunities for positive welfare. No Code of Welfare for Fish.
Fish must not be out of water for more than 15 seconds (unless anaesthetised). Wherever possible, the handling of fish must be conducted in water. Asphyxia due to air exposure is an acute stressor for fish. Efforts must always be made to reduce or eliminate stressors. No Code of Welfare for Fish.
Fish must be observed at least daily. Ensures that welfare/health problems are quickly detected to minimise suffering. No Code of Welfare for Fish.
Use of ice slurries and CO2 are not permitted as a method of stunning and/or slaughter. These methods of slaughter are considered inhumane due to the potential stress, pain and prolonged period of consciousness inflicted before death. When emersion is used as a killing method, finfish must be chilled to less than 4°C before they are taken out of the water and then they must be kept at a low temperature.
A CCTV system must be installed to provide clear footage of the stunning/slaughter process. Provides increased opportunities to observe and verify handling of animals and the proper application of the stun and slaughter process; improved transparency of slaughter processes in the aquaculture industry; and provide a valuable training tool for staff to promote best practice and compliance with legislative and certification standards. No specific mention.
Pre-slaughter handling must be kept to a minimum. Crowding before slaughter must never exceed two hours. Reduces stress and potential injury prior to stunning and slaughter. No specific mention.
Mandatory staff training in fish handling techniques that minimise stress and pain. Ensures that staff know what they are doing and can respond appropriately to reduce fish distress/discomfort. No Code of Welfare for Fish.
Feed must be dispensed and distributed in a way that reduces competition and minimises the risk of over- and underfeeding. Appropriate feeding is critical for good health/welfare and maintaining good water quality. No Code of Welfare for Fish.
Alevins (newly-hatched salmon) must have access to appropriate hatching substrate. The ability of alevins to access substrate is a known risk factor and stressor. Alevins must have access to appropriate substrate, which will provide a secure environment and facilitate normal behaviours. No Code of Welfare for Fish.
Eggs and juvenile fish must be either produced ‘in house’ or supplied by another SPCA Certified farm. Ensures the welfare of fish are safe-guarded for the duration of their life from egg to adult. No Code of Welfare for Fish.
Water quality parameters must be monitored and recorded in a water quality monitoring plan . Maintaining good water quality is essential for fish health/welfare. No Code of Welfare for Fish.
Maximum stocking density in pens must be within 10 - 20 kg/m3 (calculated as the weight of fish/m3 of water volume). Reduces crowding, which enables fish to perform natural behaviours, reduces stress and helps maintain good water quality. No Code of Welfare for Fish.
The use of acoustic deterrent devices, electronic seal scarers, seal crackers and models of seal ‘predators’ are not permitted as methods of deterrent. Lethal forms of predator management are not permitted. SPCA are concerned for the welfare of farmed fish and the wild animals that may interact with farms. No Code of Welfare for Fish.
Prophylactic use of antibiotics and other veterinary medicinal products is not permitted. Reduce antibiotic resistance and unnecessarily medicating fish. No Code of Welfare for Fish.
All equipment used for transport must be fit for the purpose of transporting fish and checked for rough surfaces, sharp edges, joints and protrusions, prior to transporting fish. Ensures the welfare of fish during transport and reduces risk of injuries, fin damage and scale loss. No Code of Welfare for Fish.
Efforts must be made to ensure there are no abrupt changes in water quality parameters whilst loading, during transportation and unloading. Reduces stress associated with abrupt environmental changes. No Code of Welfare for Fish.
Feed must be sourced from independently certified manufacturers, which can demonstrate the ingredients are responsibly and sustainably sourced and the percentage of fish meal and fish oil in the feed. The number of animals used for feed in the supply chain should be minimised to reduce animal suffering. Where possible producers should adopt alternative feed products, whilst maintaining species specific nutritional requirements. No Code of Welfare for Fish.

Together, we can raise the bar of welfare for farmed animals

Every year over 13,000,000 farmed animals in NZ benefit from a higher standard of care. Sounds like a lot, but that’s just 21% of all the country’s farmed animals*. With your help, we can improve the welfare of many more farmed animals in NZ. *Stats NZ 2019