Friday, March 22, 2013

Beak trimming ban in UK

A ban on beak trimming free range hens in the United Kingdom was due to come into force in 2011 but was put off on the advice of the Farm Animal Welfare Council because of concerns about feather pecking and cannibalism. The British Government has warned that it intends to introduce the ban in 2016.

Considerable work on husbandry methods which can be adopted to control feather pecking and cannib...alism has been carried out by the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna.

Trials have also been underway for a couple of years by Professor Christine Nicol and her team at the University of Bristol. She has said that it is possible to manage hens with intact beaks in commercial flocks without problems.

Here in Australia, there are many commercial free range farms operating without the need to beak trim their hens. As long as the chickens are not over-crowded and have plenty of pasture, there is seldom a problem with injurious feather pecking.

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