Chickens for Meat & Breeding (England): Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock (PB7275)

Catching, Handling and Transport


The Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order 1997 (S.I. 1997 No 1480) covers the transport of all vertebrate animals, including birds. Among other requirements;

- Article 4 states that no person shall transport any animal in a way which causes or is likely to cause injury or unnecessary suffering to that animal.

- Article 6 states that no person shall transport any animal unless: -
(a) it is fit for its intended journey, and
(b) suitable provision has been made for its care during the journey and on arrival at the place of destination.

For these purposes an animal shall not be considered fit for its intended journey if it is ill, injured, infirm or fatigued, unless it is only slightly ill, infirm or fatigued and the intended journey is not likely to cause it unnecessary suffering.

- Article 10(1) requires that any person transporting animals shall ensure that the animals are transported without delay to their place of destination.

- Article 10(2) requires that in the case of animals transported in a receptacle, any person in  charge of animals shall ensure that they are not caused injury or unnecessary suffering while they are in the receptacle either waiting to be loaded on to the means of transport or after they have been unloaded.

- Schedule 3 (Part I) requires that means of transport and receptacles shall be constructed, maintained, operated and positioned to provide adequate ventilation and air space. Receptacles in which animals are carried shall be constructed and maintained so that they allow for appropriate inspection and care of the animals. Receptacles in which animals are carried shall be of such a size as to protect the animals from injury or unnecessary suffering during transport. Receptacles in which birds are transported shall be constructed and maintained so that they prevent any protrusion of the heads, legs or wings from them.

 

75

The catching and handling of birds without causing them injury or stress requires skill. It should only be undertaken by competent persons, i.e. those who have been appropriately trained to the task. Responsibility for the management of the operation should be clearly allocated.

76

High standards must be applied irrespective of the potential economic value of the birds. Surplus birds or birds at the end of lay awaiting disposal should be treated as humanely as those intended for retention or sale.

77

Panic among the birds and subsequent injury should be avoided. Catching should take place in low or blue light to minimise fear responses. Catching and handling should be carried out quietly and confidently exercising care to avoid unnecessary struggling which could bruise or otherwise injure the birds.

78

Panic among the birds and subsequent injury should be avoided. Catching should take place in low or blue light to minimise fear responses. Catching and handling should be carried out quietly and confidently exercising care to avoid unnecessary struggling which could bruise or otherwise injure the birds.

79

One possible way of avoiding the potential for damage to the birds is to collect the birds mechanically; only devices proven to be humane should be considered for use in gathering birds.

80

The distance birds have to be carried should be minimised by taking the crates and containers into the house. Density in the crates should be adjusted according to weather conditions and size of bird. It is important to ensure that once birds are loaded in the container they are not exposed to extremes of temperature

81

Crates or containers should be suitable for the purpose of transporting birds and allow them easily to be put in, conveyed and taken out without injury. They should in particular be protected from rain and road spray which greatly increases the effect of wind chill, although effective ventilation must be maintained.

82

Journeys should be carefully planned so that birds are not left on the vehicle for long periods either at the start of the journey or at their destination. The provision of adequate ventilation and protection from adverse weather and extremes of temperature are essential during loading and transport.

83

Measures should be taken to ensure efficient removal of excess heat and water vapour. It is important to make use of the natural airflow patterns around a moving vehicle to optimise conditions for the birds during transport. However, when a vehicle is stationary for any length of time, mechanical ventilation may be necessary to maintain acceptable levels of temperature and humidity. When this is the case it is more effective to extract air from the vehicle than to blow air into it.

 

Schedule 3 (Part II) of the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995 (S.I. 1995 No. 731) as amended by the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) (Amendment) Regulations 1999 (S.I. 1999 No. 400) and the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2000 (S.I. 2000 No. 3352) requires that animals (including birds) are unloaded as soon as possible after arrival at a slaughterhouse. After unloading, animals must be protected from adverse weather conditions and be provided with adequate ventilation. In addition, if any animal has been subjected to high temperatures in humid weather, it must be cooled by appropriate means.

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