Updated farm assurance proposals for Poultry Processing Scheme

20-05 | |
Revised measures for the lairage include ensuring the building design avoids birds getting wet from the lorry wash and that the floor is well maintained to prevent bouncing and jarring of crates when moving live birds. Photo: Hans Prinsen
Revised measures for the lairage include ensuring the building design avoids birds getting wet from the lorry wash and that the floor is well maintained to prevent bouncing and jarring of crates when moving live birds. Photo: Hans Prinsen

Farm assurance scheme, Red Tractor, is proposing a range of new standards for consultation covering animal welfare issues in the poultry processing sector.

The UK consultation, which will run until 3 June, includes poultry welfare policy, lairage issues, poultry intake, different types of stunning, and transport wash facilities.

Among the new measures being introduced in the consultation are:

  • The need for Animal Welfare Officers to show they have taken an external source of training in addition to their required certificate of competence training. An example of external training is the Bristol University Poultry Welfare course.
  • The introduction of welfare outcome scoring is undertaken on Red Tractor chicken and turkey as per the Red Tractor protocol. This is already being undertaken in the duck sector.
  • A system must be in place to check Animal Transport Certificates and Food Chain Information to ensure they are complete. Missing information will be investigated.
  • Carbon dioxide must not exceed an absolute maximum concentrate of 33% until birds have lost consciousness. This proposal applies to bi-phasic and multi-phase gas stunning systems, and it is noted that the induction to unconsciousness is calm, i.e., there should be no excessive wing flapping or escape behaviour observed.
  • Under Low Atmospheric Pressure Stunning (LAPS), a new section within the scheme proposes 6 new standards covering the use of LAPS to stun and kill chickens up to 4kg liveweight while minimising any pain or distress.

Revisions

There are a range of revisions, too, including a demand for Animal Welfare Officers to immediately contact Red Tractor if there is a processing emergency or serious incident, such as fire, flood, breakdown of factory equipment, lack of carbon dioxide for gas, exceeding maximum lairage time of 6 hours or exceeding 12 hours withdrawal of feed and water.

There are revised measures, too, for the lairage including ensuring the building design avoids birds getting wet from the lorry wash and that the floor is well maintained to prevent bouncing and jarring of crates when moving live birds.

Red Tractor said the consultation had received input from the poultry sector including the British Meat Processors Association, National Farmers’ Union, British Veterinary Association, Association of Independent Meat Suppliers and retailers.

In its latest newsletter to members, seen by Poultry World, Red Tractor says: “The standards for all our schemes are continually reviewed to account for the evolving demands for assuring food safety and environmental protection through every part of the food chain.”

Mcdougal
Tony Mcdougal Freelance Journalist



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