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Free range pigs in England

Pigs: Free-range pregnant sows are kept in groups and t

There are EU regulations about what free-range means for laying hens and broilers (meat chickens) as indicated above. However, there are no EU regulations for free-range pork, so pigs could be indoors for some of their lives. In order to be classified as free-range, animals must have access to the outdoors for at least part of their lives.[15]

Pigs: Free-range pregnant sows are kept in groups and they are often provided with straw for bedding, rooting and chewing. Around 40% of UK sows are kept free-range outdoors and farrow in huts on their range.[16]

Egg laying hens: Cage-free egg production includes barn, free-range and organic systems. In the UK, free-range systems are the most popular of the non-cage alternatives, accounting for around 57% of all eggs, compared to 2% in barns and 2% organic. In free-range systems, hens are housed to a similar standard as the barn or aviary.[17]

Free-range rearing of pullets: Free range rearing of pullets for egg-laying is now being pioneered in the UK by various poultry rearing farms. In these systems, the pullets are allowed outside from as young as 4 weeks of age, rather than the conventional systems where the pullets are reared in barns and allowed out at 16 weeks of age

Meat chickens: Free-range broilers are reared for meat and are allowed access to an outdoor range for at least 8 hours each day. Free-range broiler systems use slower-growing breeds of chicken to improve welfare, meaning they reach slaughter weight at 16 weeks of age rather than 5–6 weeks of age in standard rearing systems.

Turkeys: Free-range turkeys have continuous access to an outdoor range during the daytime. The range should

Egg laying hens: Cage-free egg production includes barn, free-range and organic systems. In the UK, free-range systems are the most popular of the non-cage alternatives, accounting for around 57% of all eggs, compared to 2% in barns and 2% organic. In free-range systems, hens are housed to a similar standard as the barn or aviary.[17]

Free-range rearing of pullets: Free range rearing of pullets for egg-laying is now being pioneered in the UK by various poultry rearing farms. In these systems, the pullets are allowed outside from as young as 4 weeks of age, rather than the conventional systems where the pullets are reared in barns and allowed out at 16 weeks of age

Meat chickens: Free-range broilers are reared for meat and are allowed access to an outdoor range for at least 8 hours each day. Free-range broiler systems use slower-growing breeds of chicken to improve welfare, meaning they reach slaughter weight at 16 weeks of age rather than 5–6 weeks of age in standard rearing systems.

Turkeys: Free-range turkeys have continuous access to an outdoor range during the daytime. The range should be largely covered in vegetation and allow more space. Access to fresh air and daylight means better eye and respiratory health. The turkeys are able to exercise and exhibit natural behaviour resulting in stronger, healthier legs. Free-range systems often use slower-growing breeds of turkey.[18]

Free range dairy: In recent years[when?] the free range dairy scheme has become more prevalent. Farms supplying milk under the free range dairy brand abide by the pasture promise, meaning the cows will have access to pasture land to graze for a minimum of 180 days and nights a year. There is evidence to suggest that milk from grass contains higher levels of fats such as omega-3 and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Additionally free range dairy is giving consumers more choice as to where their milk comes from. Free range dairy provides the consumer with reassurance that the milk they drink has come from cows with the freedom to roam and can graze in their natural habitat.

Australian standards in relation to free-range production are largely espoused in third-party certification trade marks due to the absence of any significant legally binding legislation. A number of certification bodies are utilised by rearers to identify their products with a particular level of animal welfare standards. In events where producers do not choose to use a certified trade mark and merely state that their product is 'free range', the producer is bound by consumer expectations and perceptions of what constitutes free range.[19] Producers are generally thought to be bound to Model Codes of Practice of Animal Welfare published by the CSIRO, and in some states this forms part of legislation.

Egg laying hens