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Bird Welfare, Public Health Link Cannot Be Ignored

02 December 2014

UK - Responding to last week's results on Campylobacter from The Food Standards Agency (FSA), Compassion in World Farming has said the link between bird welfare and public health cannot be ignored.

Commenting on the new FSA figures, Compassion in World Farming’s Director of Food Business, Dr Tracey Jones, said: "What’s clear is that our desire for cheap chicken, which is relentlessly driving down prices, is a fundamental barrier to solving this issue.

"It pushes producers to use chickens with higher growth rates and increase the number of birds in each shed, both of which are bad for animal welfare and increase the likelihood of campylobacter.

“What these results don’t tell us are the links with specific processors, where a high level of cross contamination can occur.

“Some of the actions taken by retailers so far, like roast in the bag chicken, address the symptom not the cause.

"Others – such as incentivising farms to be Campylobacter-free and stopping thinning, where a proportion of birds are taken for slaughter before others – can potentially drive change, along with other industry interventions, so long as bird welfare is also addressed.

“By eating less and paying more for better meat, we can change the future of chicken farming for the better and support higher welfare systems which will ultimately reduce the incidence of campylobacter and have a positive impact on public health.”

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ThePoultrySite News Desk

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