Australia releases new animal welfare standards and guidelines for poultry

Conventional cages will be phased out by 2036
calendar icon 31 August 2022
clock icon 1 minute read

The Independent Poultry Welfare Panel commissioned by all Agriculture Ministers in 2019 has completed its work on developing new Australian animal welfare standards and guidelines for poultry.

Standards are the animal welfare requirements that will be put into effect in state and territory legislation and must be met under law for farm animal welfare purposes. Guidelines are voluntary and are recommended practices to achieve desirable animal welfare outcomes.

The most significant improvements to poultry welfare in the standards and guidelines made by the independent panel include a phase-out of conventional layer hen ‘cages’ over 10 to 15 years (at the latest by 2036), depending on the age of current infrastructure.

Poultry producers are now required to provide environmental enrichment for meat chicken breeders. The guidelines also include changes to the minimum light intensity and required periods of darkness, ventilation, and temperature parameters for all species, and a requirement to provide breeder ducks with access to bathing/dunking water.

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