A CRITIQUE OF THE PROPOSED EU ANIMAL WELFARE DIRECTIVE FROM A HUNGARIAN POINT OF VIEW

After a long wait the European Union has published a draft Directive (2005/0099) setting out minimum legal standards for the protection of chickens reared for meat. If adopted it will establish some common standards for the treatment of chickens across Europe, leading to regular inspections of flocks, and will set a platform on which future legislation could be built. The Directive arose from the advice given by the European Commission’s own Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare (SCAHAW) in 2000, which expressed a number of concerns regarding the welfare of broilers reared in typical commercial farming systems. The proposed Directive is extremely disappointing in that it fails to address the key health and welfare problems. In particular it fails to make any attempt to halt or restrict the use of fast-growing broilers despite the high levels of painful leg disorders and heart failure experienced by these birds. In the meantime a limit on maximum growth rates should be set. Lighting levels should be between 20 and 100 lux. A continuous period of darkness should be provided, which coincides with the natural night time and lasts a minimum of six hours. The proposed directive should permit broilers to be stocked at 30 kg/m2. The Commission also deals with air quality and climate, litter quality, training and environmental enrichment in the proposed directive, however in this study we only consider the three main issues. The proposal was adopted by the Commission on 30th May 2005. To become law, it will need to be adopted by the Council of Ministers following various consultations, notably in the European Parliament and the Council Working Groups, which draw together government experts from EU Member States. There are many NGO’s, for instance the RSPCA, Eurogroup, CIWF, and the Fauna Egyesület in Hungary, who welcome the proposal as a first step towards improving the welfare of broiler chickens, but believe that far more could be done to deal with the specific welfare issues.


Issue Date:
2006
Publication Type:
Journal Article
DOI and Other Identifiers:
ISSN 0046-5518 (Other)
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/141153
Published in:
GAZDÁLKODÁS: Scientific Journal on Agricultural Economics, Volume 50, Special Issue Number 17
Page range:
80-86
Total Pages:
7
Series Statement:
50.
17. Spec. Issue




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-26

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