The vast majority of shoppers find the abundance of animal welfare logos confusing, according to new research from AB Sustain, a sub-division of Associated British Foods. The research revealed that 83% of consumers found animal welfare labelling confusing, while 93% said they would like to see the labels abolished, with each retailer implementing its own single standard.

The research also found that some 65% of consumers are prepared to pay a premium for meat and fish that has been ethically and humanely treated throughout its life-cycle with only 27% saying they would not consider paying extra.

Johanna Buitelaar Warden, head of animal welfare at AB Sustain, said: "From RSPCA Freedom Food to Red Tractor, plus the retailers’ own labels, there is a vast array of different logos on the meat and fish on sale in UK supermarkets all of which can be very confusing for shoppers, who by and large just want to do the right thing."

More than 1,000 people were interviewed for the study, with over-55s the most in favour of each retailer implementing their own standard. Some 88% of those polled in that age category found the number of labels confusing, against 81% of 18- to 24-year-olds. Some 98% of over-55s supported the introduction of a single standard per retailer.