1. When fully feathered, birds must have easy access to an area on which to range during daylight hours in accordance with the current edition of the appropriate State Animal Welfare Code.

2. The land where birds are permitted to range must have shade, shelter and palatable vegetation.

3. The range area must be capable of continued production of vegetation.

4. The stocking density in the shed is measured over a single horizontal plane (length by width) and shall be no more than:

10 birds per square metre up to 1000 birds

9 birds per square metre up to 2000 birds

8 birds per square metre up to 3000 birds

7 birds per square metre up to 4000 birds

6 birds per square metre over 4000 birds

5. Hens must have permanent access to adequate shade and protection, weather-proof shelter with ventilation, adequate dry litter [static sheds], food, fresh water, nesting boxes and perches in accordance with the current edition of the appropriate State Animal Welfare Code.

6. When artificial lighting is used, the combination of natural and artificial lighting must not exceed fifteen hours in any twenty-four hour period.

7. Only wholesome foods are permitted, with the addition of vitamins, minerals and amino acids as required for the welfare of the birds.

8. Only natural pigment containing foods or natural yolk colour may be fed to enrich yolk colour.

9. Only under veterinary direction are therapeutic antibiotics permitted. Treated birds must not be sold as Free Range.

10. Growth promoting hormones and growth promoting antibiotics are not permitted. Coccidiostats may be used under veterinary direction if coccidiosis is regarded as a welfare issue.

11. Purposely inducing moulting by not feeding is not permitted.

12. Toe trimming, and the use of ‘poly peepers’ is not permitted.

13. A reasonable attempt must be made to protect birds from predators at all times.

14. All eggs must be candled and handled in accordance with the Industry Shell Egg Code.

15. All farms shall have an audit system in place for their produce which complies with RangeCare.

16. All birds are to be transported in accordance with the Land Transport Code.

17. All birds are to be vaccinated in accordance with the appropriate State livestock control Act.

18. All farms must comply with the appropriate sections of the current version of the National Farm Biosecurity Manual – Poultry Production.

19. All eggs to be sold in accordance with the current edition of the Food Act in each State.

20. Beak trimming is conducted in accordance with Egg Industry Accreditation Program.

21. The Board may, at its discretion, allow a producer to deviate from the above standards, for an agreed time period, in the interest of research which is supervised by a reputable scientific organisation, and reported to the Board at agreed dates.

Standards available for download by clicking here