THE BRITISH POULTRY COUNCIL (BPC) has outlined some of the problems that a cut to broiler transport times and restrictions to travel based on external temperatures could present.
Limiting journey times for broilers being sent to slaughter to four hours would result in a 50% reduction in the total number of broiler journeys in the UK, the BPC said.
And prohibiting journeys when external temperatures are outside the range of 5C-25C “would result in the cancellation of most journeys in January and February as well as a significant percentage of journeys in November, December, March, and April”.
The BPC made the claims in its response to a Defra consultation over the welfare of livestock during transport.
It also said a proposal to prevent the export of day-old chicks by ferry if wind speeds exceeded 23mph “would increase the likelihood of destruction of valuable day olds”.
BPC chief executive Richard Griffiths said the proposals were based on “outdated research” that did not reflect modern practices.
“Bird welfare in the UK is world-class, science-based, and continually improving,” Mr Griffiths said.
“[The] health and wellbeing of our birds is of the highest priority and in everyone’s interest.
“We are disappointed that the Government consultation suggests implementing significant changes to the requirements for the transport of birds without investing in the necessary scientific research and evidence base to support such changes.
“It is crucial that further research is conducted to assess welfare in transport using modern broiler genotypes and transport systems.
“Making legislative changes without the latest research would be both premature and potentially damaging to the strides made in bird welfare during transport over the last 25 years.”
The BPC’s full response is available on its website.