To improve the welfare of farmed broiler chickens and laying hens, scientists from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have made various recommendations and published 2 scientific opinions.
The scientific opinion on improving the welfare of laying hens and the other on improving the welfare of farmed broilers have been published and include advice on space, density of animals, lighting, dust, noise, litter and structures such as elevated platforms.
“Our experts assessed the husbandry systems used in the European Union for broiler chickens and laying hens and identified hazards to which the birds are exposed and the associated consequences for their welfare,” said EFSA.
Based on animal responses, they described ways to assess the birds’ welfare and, in addition, proposed ways to prevent or mitigate the negative welfare consequences that they identified.
“The two assessments cover the entire production cycle from breeding and raising young birds to farming broilers and laying hens,” EFSA noted, adding, “Our scientists also addressed specific questions that were brought forward by the European Citizen’s Initiative ‘End the Cage Age’.”
The European Commission requested these scientific opinions in the framework of its Farm to Fork (F2F) strategy, and they say these provide a scientific basis to support the ongoing revision of the European Union’s animal welfare legislation.
According to EFSA, a legislative proposal by the European Commission is expected in the second half of 2023.
EFSA reports that an online public event will be held to present the findings of its 2 scientific opinions on broiler chickens and laying hens on 28 March. More information can be found here.
*Click here to view the summary of welfare of laying hens on farm.
*Click here to view the summary of welfare of broilers on farm.