GERMANY - Germany has decided to stop the cutting of poultry birds' beaks, in order to try and improve animal welfare.
As a key component of animal welfare initiative "A question of attitude", Federal Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt and the poultry industry recently signed an agreement to phase out the routine beak trimming of laying hens and turkeys.
The poultry industry is committed in the agreement to stop beak trimming of layers from 1 August 2016, and to stop stocking pullets with trimmed beaks from 1 January 2017.
Signatories of this pioneering animal welfare agreement are the Central Association of German Poultry Industry Association, the German Egg Association and the Association of German Turkey Producers.
Mr Schmidt was pleased with the result: "We are in Germany on the right track to become the EU trendsetter in animal welfare.
"The agreement is timely as well as ambitious on the matter, in comparison to other known initiatives. This is not only a success on the road to more animal welfare, but it also shows that we can achieve a lot with the principle of voluntary commitment.
"Our motto must remain talking to each other, rather than about each other, and working together to develop practical solutions, rather than making unrealistic targets.
"My goal is to bring more animal welfare to the animal houses. With this agreement, we have again progressed a good deal on this way."ThePoultrySite News Desk