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Minister Smith launches Code of Practice for the Welfare of Broiler Chickens

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mr. Brendan Smith TD, today officially launched a new Booklet on a 'Code of Practice for the Welfare of Broiler Chickens', produced by the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Council (FAWAC).

The Minister said that the booklet will encourage all those engaged in the production and care of chickens kept for meat production to adopt the highest standards of husbandry and reflects new rules that are due to come into force by 30th June 2010. "In establishing rules for the welfare of broiler chickens, a balance must be maintained between various factors including health, economic and environmental impacts. The welfare codes underpinning broiler welfare outlined in the booklet will assist flock owners to maintain high-quality standards and manage their enterprises responsibly."

Minister Smith thanked the chairman of FAWAC, Professor Patrick Fottrell, and the members of the Council for their work in producing the booklet, which follows in a series of similar publications relating to various other aspects of animal welfare. The Minister also expressed his appreciation of the ongoing and valuable work being undertaken by the Council and for the advice provided.

Minister Smith said there was an increasing awareness of animal welfare issues and reiterated the Government's promise to deliver on a number of animal welfare-related commitments contained in the Programme for Government, notably the publication of legislation to update existing animal welfare legislation to ensure that the welfare of all animals is properly protected. The Minister confirmed that, following on the public consultation process initiated by him on the draft Animal Health and Welfare Bill, a substantial number of submissions were received containing a wide range of views on various animal health and welfare issues and said that these submissions are now being examined by his Department.

Date Released: 17 September 2008