Poultry farmers are set to gain insights into how they could align their businesses to Defra’s payment by results plans.
Siobhan Mullin, Professor of Animal Welfare and Ethics at UCD Dublin Vet School, has been leading research to inform Defra policy on a future scheme and will speak at a free online conference organised by the South West Chicken Association (SWCA) on 30 March.
Professor Mullin will give her assessment of what constitutes positive welfare in broilers. She will also talk about farm-scale comparisons of stocking densities, and the impact of slower-growing birds.
The content of the presentation could give poultry farmers an indication of what future domestic agricultural policy will look like following the UK’s departure from the EU.
Last year, Defra set out its vision for better animal health and welfare to be considered a ‘public good’ through a pathway in which farmers would be incentivised to demonstrate welfare improvements with funding.
The schemes were piloted and were co-designed with the NFU, the British Veterinary Association and other industry stakeholders – but up until now, farmers are lacking clarity over how it will be implemented.
Joining Professor Mullan in speaking at the conference is NFU Vice President Tom Bradshaw, who works at the top of the NFU on issues to do with Brexit, trade, and lobbying on new farming policy. Completing the line up is Olivia Nicholson, Agriculture Manager at Marks and Spencer Food Group, who is responsible for delivering the M&S sustainable agriculture strategy.
SWCA Chairman, Robert Lanning, said: “We’re delighted to proceed with our first ever virtual conference, which has given us the unique opportunity of welcoming poultry farmers from across the country and indeed the world.
“During an uncertain time for farmers, I am looking forward to welcoming our broad range of speakers, representing government, retail and the industry to discuss future agricultural domestic policy and how it affects our sector.”
The conference takes place on 30 March from 2pm.
Register for your place here Southwest Chicken Association (breezeandfreeze.co.uk)
The event is being sponsored by Zoetis, Elanco, Aviagen, P D Hook, Cobb, ForFarmers and Hubbard.