The British Poultry Council is calling on the Government to recognise the needs of the British poultry breeders, specifically with regards to the export of high value British breeding stock including day-old chicks, as the UK transitions out of the EU.
BPC Chief Executive, Richard Griffiths, said: “British poultry breeders are the world’s most sought-after suppliers of high value breeding stock for poultry meat, with exports worth £230 million a year. As global leaders in research and development, British primary breeders have invested in world class health and welfare standards through their innovative breeding programmes.
“Ahead of the forthcoming consultation on the transport of live animals for slaughter, we ask for the transport of day-old poultry for breeding to be considered as a separate category from transport of livestock for slaughter, as is currently the case under EU legislation.
“Standards of welfare during the transport of day-old poultry are very tightly controlled, given that their value is based upon arriving to any global destination at the peak of physical condition. If British breeding companies are not allowed to send day-old poultry on a journey of more than 24 hours, it will restrict UK’s ability to trade. This will have a catastrophic impact and will force businesses to move their breeding programmes to other countries.”
The BPC said losing the UK’s primary breeding companies would run the risk of damaging British poultry meat industry’s wider economic contribution to UK GDP and job creation. The UK trades with up to 121 countries across the world and nearly a billion birds are reared every year, providing half the meat that the country eats. The poultry meat industry has never had direct subsidies and yet contributes £5.5bn GVA to the UK economy and £1.2 billion in tax contribution to the Exchequer.