BPC responds to BBC poultry rearing article
The BBC published an article last week examining the way poultry is reared in England.
The article named, 'Do people know where their chicken comes from?' looks critically at welfare standards in various poultry housing systems and the effect this has on labeling of the end product. The article highlights the contrast in consumer expectations of how the protein product has been produced and whether a consumer is willing to pay a higher price for welfare-focused production.
In response to the BBC article the BPC has said: "The process of producing indoor reared chicken has undergone many positive changes over the last few decades in response to consumer demand. However, this has not come at the expense of animal welfare. In fact the UK has some of the best welfare standards in the world. Most UK poultry meat comes from birds reared under assurance schemes. These schemes go beyond the legislative requirements."
"Some 90% of chicken, turkeys and ducks, are reared to the Red Tractor Farm Assurance Poultry Scheme standards for chicken, turkey and duck. The Red Tractor is a voluntary food assurance scheme which covers production standards developed by experts on safety, hygiene, animal welfare and the environment amongst other things."
"Indoor reared chicken not only have access to feed, water, shelter from the elements and predators but also protection from a wide range of infectious disease pathogens which can cause illness to the flocks and to humans. Health performance must be monitored, records kept of flock mortality and a range of health and welfare conditions and these must be reviewed with a veterinarian. High levels of biosecurity to maintain these standards mean access to poultry farms to the public must be limited. Poultry farms also require expert management and animal husbandry skills to both meet and maintain these standards."
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