Chinese poultry producers have picked up a range of Good Egg and Chicken Production Awards from international animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming.
The award recognised producers that are making significant commitments to improving the welfare of laying hens by meeting five basic requirements.
These include more space – a maximum stocking density of less than or equal to 9 hens/square metre and a commitment to end the use of caged systems, providing birds with a suitable environment (including temperature control and good air quality), one next box per 4-6 hens, no artificial moulting as well as meeting several stipulated food safety requirements.
The awards are scored from 1 (basic requirements met) to 5 stars, depending on the number of additional welfare criteria met, either as a current policy or commitment within five years.
These criteria include indoors environmental enrichment, increased space, use of dual purpose breed and no beak trimming.
One of the top Good Egg Production awards went to the Greenay Farm of Beijing Lvduole Agriculture Co Ltd, , which won five stars for its work around indoor environmental enrichment , increased space allowance in a free range environment. It uses dual-purpose breeds and had a policy of no beak trimming.
Founded in 2011, the company was cited for its excellent work with universities, research institutes and the China Livestock Poultry branch to use modern production technologies to tackle various issues.
It has been recognised as the national modern agricultural technology demonstration base and Bejing You Chicken low density ecological Forest Demonstration Base.
Among the Good Chicken Production winners were the Broiler Farms of Hubei CP Co Ltd, who picked up a three star award around increasing space allowance for a maximum stocking density of 30kg/square metre.
The company, which covers feed production, breeder farms, hatching and slaughter, is also including trialling natural light. It has two feed processing plants, eight breeder farms with breeding capacity of 500,000 birds per year.
It also owns 26 commercial broiler farms rearing 37m birds/year and are committed to implementing a leg health plan, including gait scoring across their 298 farms.
Speaking at the London award ceremony, Compassion’s Chinese ambassador Jeff Zhou made a special presentation to Ms Xi Chunling, executive president of the International Cooperation Committee of Animal Welfare for her work in raising awareness of all forms of farm animal welfare.