Impact of Regulations Proposed by European NGOs Regarding the 2026 European Broiler ASK
Broiler chickensare the world’s most farmed land animals.Nearly seven billion chickensare farmedannuallyin Europe, where a majority of them are raised in constricted spaces. This has increased awarenessand concerns about animal welfare, and suppliers are to adhere to animal welfare standards for broiler chickens by 2026. Buyers are asking vendors to meet the European BroilerASK farming standard for broiler chickens so that they useproducts (containing chicken meat) that are traceable and responsibly sourced.
Chicken is a major source of protein in many countries,and large numbers of chickens are generally farmed in limited spaces. Farmed chickens are usually packed into over-crowded sheds, with little or no natural light. To address this, NGOs across Europe have proposed a set of regulations that are required to be fulfilled by suppliers by 2026.
European Broiler ASK 2026:
The following are the set of regulationsproposed by the NGOs:
- Comply with all EU animal welfare laws and regulations, regardless of the country of production.
- Implement a maximum stocking density of 30kg/m2or less. Thinning is discouraged,and if practiced,must be limited to one thin per flock.
- Adopt breeds that demonstrate higher welfare outcomes: either Hubbard JA757, 787, 957, or 987, Rambler Ranger, Ranger Classic, and RangerGold or otherbreeds that meet the criteria of the RSPCA Broiler Breed Welfare Assessment Protocol.
- Meet improved environmental standards includingthe following:
- At least 50 lux of light, including natural light
- At least two metersof usable perch space and two pecking substrates, per 1,000 birds
- On air quality, the maximum requirements of Annex 2.3 of the EU broiler directive, regardless of stocking density
- No cages or multi-tier systems
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