News 671 views update:May 10, 2007

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 agriculture ministers.

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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Editor WorldPoultry

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