AUSTRALIA - The Australian Chicken Meat Federation (ACMF) has responded to undercover video footage allegedly showing cruelty in hatcheries by saying Australian hatchery managers abide by a strict welfare code.
The video, released by animal rights organisation Animal Equity, was actually released some time ago, and was not filmed in Australia, but has been widely shared recently on social media.
Dr Vivien Kite, Executive Director of ACMF, said: "We have viewed the Animal Equity video footage, which shows practices in an overseas hatchery.
"A key welfare concern for Australian hatchery managers is to identify chicks that are not going to survive the first few days after hatching, and it is their responsibility to ensure that such chicks are humanely euthanised so that they do not suffer.
"Australia's hatchery managers are highly experienced and responsible for the welfare of the chicks in their care, and ensure that any euthanasia technique used is rapid, humane and consistent with the recommendations made in Australia’s national code of practice for the welfare of poultry.
"Under the 'Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals – Domestic Poultry', which is endorsed by Australia’s state and federal government departments responsible for animal welfare, the two recommended methods in Australia for humane euthanasia of such hatchlings are carbon dioxide gassing and rapid maceration.
"The Code also recommends that weak, deformed and unthrifty chicks should be culled and destroyed humanely within 48 hours of hatching. Therefore, euthanasia of chicks meeting these criteria immediately at the hatchery, rather than later following their movement and placement at the farm, is the best option in terms of bird welfare."ThePoultrySite News Desk