24 Aug 2009
EU animal abusers, boo! hiss!
good to see the Morning Star leading the charge on this one....a daily paper that promotes animal rights! excellent
Space for chickens faces chop
Monday 24 August 2009 by Adrian Roberts
Chickens reared to basic industry standards could find themselves in spaces almost 25 per cent smaller than an A4 piece of paper if the government adopts new EU legislation, the RSPCA has warned.
According to the charity, the move would constitute a "retrograde step" which would have a significant impact on the welfare of hundreds of millions of birds.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is considering the legislation, which will make it even more difficult for the animals to walk or flap their wings, the RSPCA said.
Currently, chickens reared for meat at basic industry standards are allocated 526 square centimetres - 15 per cent less space than an A4 sheet of paper.
This could be reduced by a further 8 per cent if the new guidelines are brought in.
RSPCA senior farm animal scientist Dr Marc Cooper said: "At a time when more of us are concerned about how chickens are reared, we seem to be in a position where the EU is making conditions worse, not better.
"Implementing these new provisions could have a significant impact on mortality rates, skin and leg problems as well as making it harder for these birds to perform basic natural behaviours like walking or flapping their wings.
"In England we have traditionally had some of the most progressive animal welfare laws in the world and that is why we are asking people to support us in calling on Defra to make the right decision for chicken welfare."
The RSPCA has launched an online campaign called Quash the Squash to highlight the issue. The e-petition can be found at www.giveanimalsavoice.org.uk.
Posted by Derek Wall at 9:52 pm