Poultry businesses urged to respond to consultation that could limit transport of birds

Poultry businesses have been encouraged to respond to a government consultation that could restrict journey times and movement of animals in cold and hot weather. The NFU said while the headline proposal was a ban on live exports of livestock and horses for slaughter, a range of other measures could directly impact the poultry sector. Measures including reducing maximum journey times and restricting movements in cold and hot weather within the UK were also announced in the consultation.
The NFU said the main proposals that would affect poultry were a limit of four hours on journey times transporting broilers to slaughter, including the loading and unloading of birds. Journeys for all poultry will be banned if the forecasted external temperature for the journey is below 5°c or above 25°c.
The consultation is open until 28 January and can be completed on the Defra website. 
“As poultry farmers our main priority is the health and welfare of our birds and the poultry sector has invested heavily in improving bird welfare at all stages throughout the supply chain,” said NFU national poultry board chair Thomas Wornham. “It is encouraging to see that this has been recognised in relation to the export of day-old chicks, however we are concerned that the proposed regulatory changes to domestic journeys for poultry could have enormous practical implications for both poultry meat and egg producers. Furthermore, we could see negative impacts on the resilience of the wider UK food supply chain if some of these proposed changes were introduced.”


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