EU Agrees New Rules To Improve Welfare Of Chickens

EU - Farming ministers have agreed new rules to improve the welfare of chickens across Europe.
calendar icon 9 May 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

For the first time chickens reared for meat production will be covered by strict regulations governing the conditions in which they are kept.

The new EU directive includes:

  • the introduction of limits on stocking density
  • cross-European Union (EU) training for the industry
  • a possible new welfare labelling regime
  • cross-EU data collection and scientific monitoring of impacts on welfare (eg genetics)
  • action against anyone breaking the rules
Animal welfare minister Ben Bradshaw said:

“This is an unprecedented step, ensuring that this major sector has for the first time a set of strict rules to adhere to. The welfare of meat chickens is a major concern to people throughout the European Union.

“This agreement sends a strong message to the rest of the world that we care about animal welfare.”

Ben Bradshaw added that the UK successfully fought - supported by Sweden, Denmark and other welfare-minded countries - against a further watering down of the proposals led by France.

The Directive will come into force in 2010.

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