A message has been relayed by the National Farmers' Union (NFU) and
the British Poultry Council (BPC), that chickens reared for meat are not
'battery' farmed and poultry producers in the UK are tired of hearing the claim
Charles Bourns, chairman of the NFU poultry board, and
Peter Bradnock, chief executive of the BPC, said animal welfare was the top
priority for poultry producers because their birds were their most valuable
assets. Low prices on supermarket shelves did not mean low welfare on farms.
"It's disappointing that once again the British media is referring to
chickens reared for meat as 'battery' farmed. This is completely untrue and our
members who look after the national flock are fed up to the back teeth of
hearing it repeated. Chickens reared for meat in Britain are kept indoors or are
free range - they are never kept in battery cages," they said.
Welfare is key
They added that, "British poultry meat
is produced to high standards which are independently validated and monitored by
auditors from outside the industry. These scientifically based standards ensure
sound welfare, environmental protection and safety. As well as this, welfare
inspections are also often carried out by independent inspectors on behalf of
"The UK and the EU lead the world in animal welfare.
British poultry farming is a highly regulated sector, both in law and in its
assurance standards, which go beyond legal requirements."