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NFU Clarifies New EU Broiler Welfare Directive

by 5m Editor
29 November 2010, at 9:41a.m.

UK - New regulations to implement Council Directive 2007/43/EC on meat chicken welfare came into force on 5 November in Scotland, on 10 November in Wales and will come into force by shortly in England.

The Regulations set a maximum stocking density limit of 39kg per square metre for 'conventionally reared' chicken. They also require keepers of 500 or more conventionally reared meat chickens to notify Animal Health if they wish to stock birds at more than 33kg per square metre up to a maximum of 39kg per square metre. Notification can be made through a Meat Chicken Notification Form. In early December, keepers in Scotland and Wales will receive a pre-populated Meat Chicken Notification Form from Animal Health based on details contained in the GB Poultry register. English keepers will receive forms early in 2011.

The form can also be used to apply for Grandfather Rights in respect of training. Although those who directly care for meat chickens are encouraged to undertake formal training, Council Directive 2007/43 allows for the recognition of prior experience as equivalent to such training. Keepers will be able to apply for Grandfather Rights until 30 June 2011 providing they meet the necessary criteria as set out on the Meat Chicken Notification Form. Further details about the Directive’s requirements can be found by clicking here.

Queries about the Meat Chicken Notification Form should be directed to Newcastle Animal Health Office in writing (North East Animal Health Regional Office, Quadrant, Newburn Riverside, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE15 8NZ) or by calling the Broiler Directive Helpline on 0845 601 4858.

Note that 'conventional chickens' are those reared for meat production except for those:

  • on holdings with fewer than 500 meat chickens or with only breeding stocks of chickens
  • in hatcheries
  • to which the term 'extensive indoor (barn reared)' or 'Free-range' can be used within the meaning of the poulty meat marketing standards, or
  • organically reared.