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BPC Welcomes Comments on Draft Welfare Guidance Consultation

01 July 2013

UK - The British Poultry Council (BPC) is inviting comments on draft Guidance on the welfare of meat chickens and breeding chickens, issued jointly by the British Poultry Council, on behalf of the British poultry meat industry, and Defra. .

Defra is consulting separately on the principle of moving to this type of guidance and any comments relating to the principle should be directed to Defra (see below).

Subject to the outcome of Defra’s consultation, it is the intention that the Guidance will update and replace the existing Defra Code of recommendations for meat and breeding chickens published in July 2002. It will be jointly-owned by the poultry meat industry and Defra. It takes into account the requirements of new EU and UK legislation on the protection of animal welfare and, specifically, the welfare of chickens reared for meat, which have come into force since that date.

The primary purpose of the Guidance is to help poultry farmers to comply with the legislation by providing clear and accessible description of the regulatory requirements and by elaborating actions and approaches known to help achieve them, without introducing more process or prescriptive requirements.

BPC writes: "We welcome the written views of chicken breeders, farmers and processors, other poultry sector bodies, and stakeholders on the text of this draft Guidance. If possible your views on specific points in the text should be referenced to the relevant paragraph or section. The text is necessarily a draft and may change in view of comments received. The issue of a final text, however, will depend on the satisfactory outcome of the separate Defra consultation."

The consultation runs for six weeks and closes at 5pm on 8 August 2013

Defra consultation

This Guidance is intended to be jointly owned by the poultry meat industry, represented by the BPC and possibly other bodies, and Defra, following the Secretary of State’s acceptance of a recommendation of the farming Regulation Taskforce Report of February 2012.

Defra is currently consulting on the general principle of moving the lead for the drafting of guidance on implementing regulations from the Secretary of State to the relevant industry representative body. The Guidance on the welfare of meat and breeding chickens will be the first to be issued under this proposed change in approach.

The Defra consultation closes at the same time as the BPC consultation on 8 August 2013.

The draft Guidance can be downloaded by clicking here.

Comments can be sent by email to or by letter to: Consultation, British Poultry Council, 5-11 Lavington Street, London SE1 0NZ.

The Defra consultation can be viewed by clicking here.

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