Hatcheries in the Netherlands will be forced to introduce early feeding after a court ruled in favour of an animal rights organisation, Wakker Dier.
The ruling will apply to the 500 million broiler chicks hatched each year in the Netherlands. It now means chicks must receive feed and water within 36 hours of hatching, rather than the three days that is currently standard practice.
The case was first brought by Wakker Dier in 2013. The court has given hatcheries five years to comply with the new law, but the animal rights organisation said it will appeal to try and force a shorter compliance period. In addition it said it plans to bring a new case relating to chicks hatched for the laying sector.