Improving the welfare of broiler chickens and laying hens

Why is it important?

Million broiler chickens

%

OF BROILER CHICKENS IN INTENSIVE SYSTEMS

Million laying hens

%

LAYING HENS in cages

The EU slaughters 7 billion broiler chickens every year and rears 360 million laying hens, of which approximately 220 million in cages. Although very different from each other, the conditions under which broilers and laying hens are reared are increasingly unacceptable, both from a scientific and societal perspective. In spite of existing EU legislation aimed at guaranteeing minimum standards of welfare for chickens, drastic change is needed in order to overcome:

– the patchy implementation of legislation across EU Member States,

– the problems associated with the selection for fast growth in broiler chickens,

– the use of cages for laying hens,

– the animal welfare and health issues associated to the intensive rearing methods currently used in the European Union.

Eurogroup for Animals is working with its members to phase out enriched cages for laying hens and obtain significant improvements for broiler chickens’ welfare in the EU. The animal welfare movement has been campaigning against cages for laying hens for many years, and recently several international food businesses and retailers have made commitments to phase out caged eggs from their supply chains by 2025. Additionally, international campaigns call on food businesses to endorse the European Chicken Commitments and implement better conditions for broilers welfare by 2026.

EU citizens are deeply concerned about chickens rearing conditions and the European Parliament recently called on the European Commission to address existing problems. Concrete and targeted actions are needed both at EU and national level to make sure that laying hens and broiler chickens are protected consistently across the EU.

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Eurogroup for Animals

Rue Ducale, 29
1000 Brussels, Belgium

+ 32 (0)2 7400820

info@eurogroupforanimals.org

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