New requirement for all laying hens

New requirement for all laying hens

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New requirement for all laying hens from RSPCA Assured certified farms to go to an RSPCA Assured abattoir.

While the vast majority of certified farms have already adopted our new standard, from 1 January 2019, all RSPCA Assured farms will be required to send spent laying hens to an RSPCA Assured certified abattoir.  

We’re making this change to our standards because we believe it’s important to safeguard bird welfare, from hatch through to slaughter, not just during their laying lives.

Producers will also be required to retain written evidence confirming that they were slaughtered at an RSPCA Assured certified abattoir.

In May of 2017, we sent notification to all our members regarding the upcoming changes to our standards, which were then published in August 2017.

Copies of all changes to the standards and guidance were sent to relevant RSPCA Assured members.

The review process, undertaken in consultation with the farming industry, veterinary profession and welfare research sector, is necessary to ensure the standards take proper account of the latest scientific research, veterinary knowledge, and practical developments, and therefore continue to represent ‘best practice’ in farm animal care.

From no later than 1 January 2019:

  • All spent hens must be sent to an RSPCA Assured certified abattoir for slaughter
  • Written evidence confirming slaughter at an RSPCA Assured certified abattoir must be kept
  • Hens must still be slaughtered as close as possible to the point of production

Date: 14 Dec 2018