May 5, 2023


Farming official calls for alliance of Irish, European poultry farmers to keep EU welfare proposals in check




An alliance between Irish and European poultry farmers is critical to counter EU welfare proposals, which have the potential to "close down" the entire poultry industry, according to the National Poultry Committee chair of the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA), Nigel Sweetnam.


Sweetnam said new EU welfare regulations are the "real elephant in the room." Proposals to reduce the stocking rates on poultry farms to 25%, a ban on the transport of live day-old chicks and limited growth rates are discussed in the European Union, he added.


An alliance between poultry farmers under the umbrella group of EU farm organisations and agricultural co-operatives, Copa Cogeca is the "only way" to block and create awareness of these proposals, he said.


The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently published two scientific opinions, including advice on space, density of animals, lighting, dust, noise, litter and housing structures. The opinions will, the EFSA said, provide for the ongoing revision of the EU's animal welfare legislation. A legislative proposal from the European Commission is expected in the second half of 2023.


The IFA chair, who questions the agenda behind the proposed regulations, said the proposals have to be "fought in the early days" as they could drive up the production costs of chicken.


For broilers, the EFSA recommended that the growth rate should be limited to 50g per day. Additionally, stocking density should be "substantially reduced."


Production costs continue to increase on poultry farms, including for energy. Feed prices, however, have decreased slightly, the IFA chair said.

- Agriland

Video >

Follow Us