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Poultry Body Defends UK Chicken Production Methods

28 October 2014

UK - The British Poultry Council (BPC) explains that most UK poultry meat comes from birds reared under assurance schemes that stipulate standards for the care of the birds in the country.

In response to the BBC article entitled: Do people know where their chicken comes from?, the BPC has said: “The process of producing indoor reared chicken has undergone many positive changes over the last few decades in response to consumer demand. However, this has not come at the expense of animal welfare. In fact, the UK has some of the best welfare standards in the world.

“Most UK poultry meat comes from birds reared under assurance schemes. These schemes go beyond the legislative requirements. Some 90 per cent of chicken, turkeys and ducks, are reared to the Red Tractor Farm Assurance Poultry Scheme standards for chicken, turkey and duck.

The Red Tractor is a voluntary food assurance scheme which covers production standards developed by experts on safety, hygiene, animal welfare and the environment amongst other things.

“Indoor reared chicken not only have access to feed, water, shelter from the elements and predators but also protection from a wide range of infectious disease pathogens which can cause illness to the flocks and to humans.

“Health performance must be monitored, records kept of flock mortality and a range of health and welfare conditions and these must be reviewed with a veterinarian. High levels of biosecurity to maintain these standards mean access to poultry farms to the public must be limited.

“Poultry farms also require expert management and animal husbandry skills to both meet and maintain these standards.”

TheMeatSite News Desk

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