RSPCA welfare standards
for domestic/common ducks
11 February 2015
* indicates an amendment
The environment in which livestock are kept needs to take into account their welfare needs, be
designed to protect them from physical and thermal discomfort, fear and distress, and allow
them to perform their natural behaviour.
E 1.1 Where management systems, designs or layout of facilities not covered in the RSPCA welfare standards
are being employed or considered, these must be referred to, and discussed with, the RSPCA Farm
Animals Department before they can be considered for certification by Freedom Food.
E 1.1.1 * Where changes are being made to existing buildings, new accomodation is being built or new equipment
installed that has not previously been assessed, managers must inform Freedom Food at the time the
change is being made.
If there is any uncertainty about whether planned changes to buildings or equipment will meet
the RSPCA welfare standards then please contact the RSPCA Farm Animals Department (see
E 1.2 Bird welfare must not be compromised/be likely to be compromised by outside environmental factors, such
as noise, atmospheric pollution, adverse weather conditions, predators and, in the case of free range
systems, soil conditions.
E 1.3 * The area immediately surrounding the outside of the house must:
a) be kept clean and tidy
b) not offer shelter to wild animals
c) be well-managed, with any vegetation kept short.
E 2.0 All ducks must be provided with accommodation.
E 2.1 Buildings must be fit for purpose to ensure a good level of welfare is achieved and maintained at all times
throughout a duck's life.
Buildings that offer very limited or no control over the birds' thermal environment, such as in
fully or near-fully open sided buildings, will not be considered acceptable. Sufficient control is
essential to maintain good litter and air quality, especially during colder weather, and to protect
birds from thermal stress and discomfort.
E 2.2 Buildings must be designed and erected so as to be suitable for expected local weather conditions.
E 2.3 For all accommodation, a notice containing a checklist of the key points relating to welfare (see E 2.4)
must be prominently displayed at, or near, the entrance to each building.