Laying Hens (England): Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock (PB7274)

Freedom of movement


Schedule 1, paragraph 9 of the Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2000 (S.I. 2000 No. 1870) states that:

- The freedom of movement of animals, having regard to their species and in accordance with established experience and scientific knowledge, shall not be restricted in such a way as to cause them unnecessary suffering or injury;

Schedule 1, paragraph 10 states that:

- Where animals are continuously or regularly confined, they shall be given the space appropriate to their physiological and ethological needs in accordance with established experience and scientific knowledge.

 

Schedule 3A, paragraphs 1, 2, 6 and 7, provisions applicable to laying hens kept in non-cage systems, of the Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 (S.I. 2002 No.1646) states that:

All newly built or rebuilt non-cage systems of production for keeping laying hens and all such systems of production brought into use for the first time, shall comply with the requirements of this Schedule.

On and after 1 January 2007, all non-cage systems of production for keeping laying hens shall also comply with the following requirements.

Subject to paragraph 7 below, the stocking density must not exceed nine laying hens per square metre of usable area.

Where on 3 August 1999 the establishment applied a system where the usable area corresponded to the available ground surface, and the establishment is still applying this system when the Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 (S.I. 2002 No.1646) come into force, a stocking density of 12 hens per square metre is authorised until 31 December 2011.

 

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When determining the stocking rate, consideration should be given to breed, system of housing, strain and type of bird, colony size, temperature, ventilation and lighting, as well as to the number of platforms, perches or other suitable installations available in the third dimension.

31

If disease or evidence of a behavioural problem becomes apparent, by observation or by receipt of unsatisfactory grading returns from egg packing stations or by rejections from processing plants, expert qualified advice should be sought promptly to deal with the problem. Stocking and ventilation rates should also be checked and variations in stocking and ventilation should be considered in order to minimise the likelihood of recurrence of the problem.

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