Defra has published its proposals for new Welfare in Transport measures, affecting large parts of the poultry industry. Following a consultation the government has dropped part of its initial proposed plan to include vehicle loading and unloading it its planned maximum journey time of four hours for poultry. If this had gone ahead it would have halted 50% of current poultry journeys.
However, the new plans include measures to ban poultry journeys when the outside temperature is below 5 Celsius or above 25 Celsius, which are likely to have a major impact on the sector.
The Government said it had listened to early feedback from industry and will now work with the farming sector and welfare groups to develop these proposals.
Richard Griffiths, BPC chief executive said he had big concerns. “This is going to cause difficulties and we are assessing the extent of the problem now. The government is indulging in ideological fancies rather than bigger picture of making food affordable and accessible.”
Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “We have listened to the concerns raised relating to our proposed changes to transport regulations and have made changes to address these. We will continue to work with industry on the remaining details.”
NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts said he was pleased Defra had listened to the concerns of the industry. “Animal welfare is always a top priority for any livestock or poultry farmer and we maintain that new rules or policy should be based on sound evidence and the latest science.
“We’re pleased to see in some areas Defra has taken account of the evidence we presented and made changes to its proposals.
“We are pleased to see that Defra is committed to working collaboratively with the industry in this area and we stand ready to support further policy development to improve welfare at transport.”