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Industry Delighted with Welfare Report

20 September 2006

Industry Delighted with Welfare Report

The Executive Director of the New Zealand Poultry Industry Association, Michael Brooks, has welcomed an independent report that shows that welfare standards of New Zealand meat chickens are world class.

The joint study funded by MAF and conducted by AgResearch applied welfare indicators for New Zealand meat chickens that are used to benchmark poultry meat chicken welfare worldwide.

The results show that overall the welfare of our commercial meat chickens is world-class and the leg health of New Zealand meat chickens is superior to those in Europe.

The mortality of birds was found to be at the lower end of industry levels overseas. Leg cull mortality was about half that reported in two recent UK studies and the proportion of birds with severe leg weakness was about one quarter that reported in the UK, Denmark and Sweden.

“The industry is delighted that this report has proven what the industry has always known – that we are world leaders in meat chicken welfare standards,”

“New Zealand is seen as being at the forefront of much advancement in poultry meat production and this report underscores the reputation the industry has worldwide”, Mr Brooks said.

The research was carried out on 36 New Zealand commercial meat chicken farms over three years in each season and within the context of the typical management of the birds.

ENDS

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