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More animal-friendly trapping method for Rondeel's chickens

20 April 2018

Chickens no longer need to be picked up by their legs and put upside down in crates when they go to the slaughterhouse. Eyes on Animals introduces the Dutch poultry industry to the 'Swedish trapping method' for chickens. Poultry farm Rondeel is the first to switch over

Organic, free range, barn and cage chickens: although their lives are different, they all end up in the same place. As soon as they have to go to slaughter, there is a catching team that empties the barn in a few hours. The chickens are grasped by the legs and placed in crates upside down 3-5 at a time. Weather pinched wings or other injuries, the chicken catcher often has too little time to pay attention, since time is money.

Eyes on Animals shows that it can be done differently. For a number of years they have been giving training to chicken catchers and have introduced the Dutch poultry industry to the 'Swedish catch method'. In this method, chickens do not hang upside down by their paws - which is stressful and painful - but they are picked up by a maximum of two at the same time around the breast and put upright in a crate. The Swedish catch method has been optimized together with Rondeel and the catching team Den Ouden. Catching now only takes about 1.5-2 times longer than normal which is surprisingly fast.

Regular catching method

Peter Koelewijn from Rondeel says: "The Swedish principles fit our philosophy. Namely that we have to adapt our husbandry system to the animal, instead of the other way around. We think that Swedish capturing for our company is feasible and the right thing to do. "

Swedish catching method
 

Testing in the field last week, Eyes on Animals, together with catching team Den Ouden, for the first time used 'Swedish catching' on a large scale at the Rondeel poultry farm. The capture and loading time is shorter than expected and noise measurements confirm that chickens suffer less. "Chickens make high, screaming noises when they have fear or pain; that sound goes through marrow and bone. During the Swedish catch it was almost completely silent in the barn. The difference with regular catching is so easy to hear, there is actually no need for noise measurement," says Madelaine Looije of Eyes on Animals.

Poultry service company Den Ouden is also positive. Joep van de Waarenburg says: "In the beginning we were somewhat skeptical, but it was actually much smoother and faster than expected."

The Animal Protection (Beter Leven Keurmerk) and poultry farm Kipster have also shown interest in the Swedish trapping method. Hopefully more poultry farms will follow and take responsibility to catch and load chickens in a more humane way.

As reported by Eyes on Animals




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