Animal Welfare Matters
The UK Poultry industry has some of the highest welfare standards in the world that ensure that the birds they raise are taken care of with the highest standards from the moment they hatch. Since healthy, top-quality animals are needed for food, proper treatment is not only an ethical obligation, it also makes good business sense.
Carefully formulated feed, access to a plentiful supply of clean water, adequate room to grow, professional veterinary attention, and proper handling are all important factors in the management of a young chicken flock and the production of high-quality food products.
Welfare standards cover every phase of the chicken’s life and offers science-based recommendations for proper treatment. Among other things they include:
Proper nutrition and feeding
Appropriate comfort and shelter
Health care and monitoring
Ability to display most normal behaviours
On-farm best practices
Catching and transportation
Farms must also:
Have a person or management group in charge of animal welfare throughout the company.
Those involved in handling live animals must be trained annually.
Abuse of the animals is not tolerated under any circumstances.
Ensure compliance with the EU ban on prophylactic use of antibiotics.
Stocking density is limited based on size of the individual bird.
Ammonia in atmosphere and moisture in litter are limited.
Humane handling required at catching.
Wing and leg damage are limited and monitored.
Birds protected from extremes of temperature in transportation and holding and provided with ventilation.
British Farms also subscribe to the Red Tractor scheme - Trust the Tractor. Red Tractor is the only assurance scheme in the UK that covers the entire supply chain from egg to fork, with standards focusing on animal health and welfare but also food safety and hygiene, traceability and staff training.
“When you see the little red tractor logo on produce, it means those products have come from farms assessed to standards concerned with food safety, animal welfare and environmental regulations” RSPCA - How to be a conscientious consumer 2014
Animal health and welfare are core principles of British poultry production. Red Tractor standards go even further than UK and EU requirements because bird animal welfare is becoming such an important consideration for the consumer.
The flocks at Whin Close will be reared in modern ventilated barns with access to high quality feed and fresh water. Farm staff will be dedicated to their birds and work hard to ensure they are in good health.
Every week Britain imports 5.5 million chickens from Asia and Brazil who are the largest worldwide exporters with the lowest animal welfare standards.