News 329 views update:Jan 15, 2008

Chicken welfare: government should put its money where its mouth is

According to the NFU in England, the government should "put its money where its mouth is" regarding chicken welfare.

The 2012 EU ban on battery cage egg production will be worse than useless in improving chicken welfare if the same standards are not applied to imports, says the NFU. The Union has called upon the government to set an example in its own food procurement policies.
According to NFU Poultry Board Chairman Charles Bourns, egg producers are prepared to accept the battery cage ban, provided that it does not lead to the export of the egg industry to countries with lower standards of chicken welfare.
"The fact that the EU has said it is not going to extend the deadline for outlawing the present generation of battery cages does at least remove any uncertainty," said Bourns, adding that it will be pointless if the same level of welfare to all of the chickens involved in supplying eggs to the European market is not extended, not only those chickens that happen to be housed in the EU.
"…government departments are still sourcing over 40% of their food from imports, including products like chicken, eggs, pork and bacon from countries which are still using systems that would either be illegal in this country or which would be unacceptable under our farm assurance protocols."
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Editor WorldPoultry

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