Changes in animal welfare standards create controversy

Changes in animal welfare standards create controversy

In the UK, the government's animal welfare committee recommended a law change to allow chickens to be transported by their legs and sparked controversy. The practice, currently banned under EU rules, has been criticized for causing pain, discomfort and potential harm to animals.

The committee's recommendation proposes a five-year change in the law to allow birds weighing less than 10 kg to be carried on both legs. The recommendation comes despite recognition of welfare risks to animals, including the potential for fractures and dislocations.

The dispute comes as the UK has pledged to maintain and raise animal welfare standards after leaving the EU. Environment Secretary Steve Barclay reiterated the country's commitment to animal welfare and high quality food. However, critics point out that the committee's recommendation goes against these promises.

Animal rights organizations such as the Animal Law Foundation and the Humane League UK are challenging the plan and calling for a review of the current practice as authorized by the Act. The Humane League UK has highlighted the need to treat animals with respect rather than treating birds as commodities.

In the international context, the Netherlands is cited as a positive example, where the practice of vertical handling of birds through the abdomen is considered to have minimal additional cost and is implemented as standard after judicial review. The move contrasts with the UK proposal, intensifying debate over animal welfare and best practices in bird handling.

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About the Author: Morton Obrien

"Reader. Infuriatingly humble travel enthusiast. Extreme food scholar. Writer. Communicator."

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