Broiler chickens benefit from new EU welfare rules
A law guaranteeing minimum welfare standards for
chickens reared in pens for meat has been approved by the European Union
Broiler chickens will benefit from more space and better accommodation
throughout the EU, following agreement by farm ministers
on new welfare standards.
The new Directive
aims to reduce the overcrowding of chickens. The
maximum stocking density is 33kg/m2, or 39kg/m2 if stricter welfare standards
are met (e.g. the installation of ventilation systems that keep the ammonia,
CO2, temperature and humidity levels within strict parameters). The new
legislation also lays down a number of other conditions to ensure better animal
welfare, such as lighting, litter, feeding, and ventilation requirements.
The EU standards will nee to be adhered to as from June 2010.
European Commissioner for Health, Markos Kyprianou
said: "EU consumers have repeatedly expressed
concern at the welfare problems that can arise through intensive chicken
farming. The Directive agreed brings forward for the first time important rules
for the animal welfare of broilers... Not only will this result in better animal
welfare across Europe, but it should also contribute to improving the health of
the birds and the quality of their meat."
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