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
"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
"â€¦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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