New Zealand launches new welfare code for chickens

26-07-2012 | | |
New Zealand launches new welfare code for chickens

New standards covering the welfare of chickens raised for meat have come into effect in New Zealand.

The minimum standards and best practice guidelines are set out in the new code of welfare. John Hellström, chair of the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) which developed the code, says it will replace the code of welfare for broiler chickens which was issued in 2003.

“The previous code concentrated solely on chickens that are fully housed. The new code has a broader scope and includes chickens that have access to the outdoors,” Hellström said.

“Another key change is that farmers will have to take the environment of the chicken into account when deciding on how many chickens to keep in a given area.

“Farmers will still be required to stay within the minimum standards for stocking density, but they will now have to also consider things like litter quality, lighting, air quality and temperature when deciding how to house their chickens.”

NAWAC is an expert committee formed to give advice about animal welfare to the Minister for Primary Industries. NAWAC developed the code after listening to feedback from those directly affected by the code and the views of the public.

Source: New Zealand Ministry for Primary Indudstries