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Producers Adopt EU Welfare Directive Early

by 5m Editor
11 February 2009, at 9:29am

UK - Broiler producers will adopt the EU Directive on broiler welfare 14 months ahead of the deadline.

Poultry producers under the Assured Chicken Production (ACP) scheme are set to comply with the new EU broiler welfare directive a full 14 months before the directive is due to come into force, according to Farmers Weekly Interactive.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is consulting the UK poultry industry on the implementation of the EU broiler welfare directive, which is due to come into force in 2010. But the measures have already been approved for adoption by ACP, the poultry arm of the Red Tractor food assurance scheme.

Chairman of the ACP Board, David Joll, said: "Food safety and animal welfare are at the top of our agenda and we are committed to operating to the highest standards across a wide number of breeds of chicken to ensure that quality chicken is widely available to consumers.

"We are setting the bar high by introducing new standards that are independently assessed and independently inspected by Red Tractor Assured Food Standards certification bodies."

David Clarke, of Assured Food Standards, added, "Red Tractor is unique in that it demands major controls that are independently inspected to ensure the very highest levels of food safety while maintaining appropriate animal welfare standards and environmental codes that do not restrict consumer choice like some other schemes."

The new Red Tractor ACP standards will come into force from 1 April 2009 and will incorporate additional elements such as controls on temperature, humidity, environmental emissions and require producers to investigate additional forms of environmental enrichment for chickens, reports Farmers Weekly Interactive.