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New draft code for meat chickens
The new code aims to maintain animal welfare standards.
Code recognises profession’s role in poultry welfare

An updated draft code of practice for meat chickens and meat breeding chickens has been published by Defra.

The code follows a consultation carried out last year and was presented to Parliament on Tuesday (9 January). If there are no objections, it will come into force in March 2018.

BVA president John Fishwick said: “We welcome the Government’s recognition of the vital role the veterinary profession plays in poultry welfare, with further references throughout the updated draft code to the importance of seeking veterinary advice.”

The current code exists to give owners and breeders of meat chickens guidance on how to comply with relevant welfare legislation. However, it has not been updated since 2002.

Defra says that the new code aims to provide up-to-date guidance on the current legislation, maintain animal welfare standards and reflect the latest scientific and veterinary knowledge.

John Fishwick continued: “We are particularly pleased to see the recommendation that welfare outcomes should be used to assess and monitor the ongoing welfare of the birds as part of the farm health and welfare plan, and with the signposting to the Humane Slaughter Association’s Poultry Catching and Handling Technical Note within the code.
 
“The British poultry industry already has some of the highest welfare standards in the world and the veterinary profession and poultry industry will continue to work with Defra on further enhancing animal welfare codes to reflect best industry practice.”

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”