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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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Newborn okapi named after Meghan Markle

News Story 1
 An endangered okapi recently born at London Zoo has been named Meghan - after Prince Harry’s fiancé Meghan Markle - in celebration of the upcoming royal wedding. Okapis are classed as endangered in the wild, having suffered ongoing declines since 1995. Zookeeper Gemma Metcalf said: “We’re very pleased with how mother and baby are doing. Oni is being very attentive, making sure she regularly licks her clean and keeping a watchful eye over Meghan as she sleeps.” Image © ZSL London Zoo  

News Shorts
Ten new cases of Alabama rot confirmed

Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists has confirmed 10 new cases of Alabama rot, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the UK to 122.

In a Facebook post, the referral centre said the cases were from County Durham, West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, Sussex, West Somerset, Devon, and Powys.

Pet owners are urged to remain vigilant and seek advice from their vet if their dog develops unexplained skin lesions/sores.