Poultry welfare is being discussed in Brussels. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), in two scientific opinions published on Tuesday, recommended the end of the rearing of poultry in cages and their mutilation. The regulator's opinions, requested by the European Commission, are based on studies that have identified the "dangers" to which broilers and laying hens are exposed in farms in the European Union.

As a preventive measure, EFSA recommends, among other things, banning cage farming - individual or collective - which it considers responsible for "isolation stress" or "group stress", "restriction of movement" or "resting problems" in these poultry. To replace this production system, the European regulator prefers the so-called "aviary" system: two-storey structures with perches, and laying spaces for hens.

Reduce livestock density

At the same time, EFSA recommends reducing the density of farms and stopping mutilations, such as cutting the crests or beaks of these gallinaceans to prevent them from mutilating each other. She also points to the need for these poultry to have access to outdoor spaces, or at least to "verandas", and even indicates that the ambient noise of farms should not exceed 75 decibels.

As part of its "Farm to Fork" strategy, the European Commission has requested this scientific advice in view of the upcoming review of EU animal welfare legislation. In August, EFSA issued a similar opinion on the welfare of farmed pigs, and five in September on the welfare of animals during transport. It must decide by May on farmed calves, dairy cows, ducks, geese and quail.

  • Planet
  • Animal protection
  • Animals
  • Breeding
  • European Commission