DEFRA-funded research into the use of raised laying units was published today (24 July), and supports the existing DEFRA Code for the Welfare of Gamebirds Reared for Sporting Purposes, used by the British gamebird industry.
The research shows that the current Code of Welfare of Gamebirds Reared for Sporting Purposes, proposed by the working group set up by DEFRA, is fit for purpose.
Adrian Blackmore, director of shooting for the Countryside Alliance, was pleased with the publication: “The welfare of gamebirds is of paramount importance and any decisions taken regarding animal welfare should be based on sound science,” he commented. “We are pleased that this rigorous research approves current best practice for British game bird egg production, and shows that birds in raised laying units can meet animal welfare standards when undertaken properly.
“We shall closely review the results of this research and welcome the further research that is to be undertaken.”
BASC too has welcomed the results. Glynn Evans, head of Game and Deer Management, said: “BASC had called for the publication of this research and is grateful that DEFRA have listened and acted. It is essential that everyone who rears game follows the statutory codes of practice for the welfare of gamebirds reared for sporting purposes.”