What’s wrong with this picture?

World News! Another non-event of avian flu breaks out here in the UK… but look closely at the picture. Each of the hens has been debeaked, a practice that removes one-half to two-thirds of the beak of the bird to reduce cannibalistic pecking. A behaviour brought about by overstocking, overcrowding, boredom and stress. Surely in todays drive for better animal welfare it’s time we addressed the cause and not the symptom, remove the factors that cause cannabilistic pecking and #keepdabeak ?

Authorities act as avian flu confirmed in Hampshire chickens | World news | The Guardian.

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5 thoughts on “What’s wrong with this picture?

  1. Hi Andy, I wholeheartedly agree with you about the way commercial chickens are reared. Last year I went on a course designed for specialist poultry vets. The day culminated in each participant carrying out a post-mortem examination on several chickens that had come from a commercial unit. Of the eight birds I examined, four were missing the oviduct – “Ah,” said our course tutor, “those have been cannibalised – one chicken sees a spec of blood and starts pecking, then others join in…”. I’m sure most of us reading your mails wouldn’t dream of keeping birds in those conditions, but if supermarket customers are eager to buy dirt-cheap chicken, they should at least be made aware of the conditions under which they are reared and the welfare implications of this over-crowiding. Meanwhile, more and more mega-sheds are being constructed, with, I believe, the largest in the UK housing approximately 160,000 birds (please correct me if this number is incorrect) for the few short weeks (just 6 for broilers) of their miserable lives.

    • Hi Carole – Your figures are not incorrect and quite rightly it would make for an interesting consumer choice if the conditions the birds were kept in was communicated honestly and clearly thats for sure

    • It does rather doesn’t it… a non event of flu illustrated without so much as a reference using images of what can only really be described as disfigured or mutilated birds. Most odd.

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