Half a billion chickens are bred in Australia every year.
Many of them are kept in barren, cramped conditions, with only the space of an A4 sheet of paper to move around. They are bred to grow so big and so fast that often their hearts and legs give out under the strain. Plus at least 11 million laying hens every year are restricted in barren, wire cages without even a nest!
As part of our campaign to improve the lives of these chickens, we had been looking forward to the national review of the standards and guidelines for poultry. They haven't been touched for 10 years, and change is definitely needed!
But the new standards and guidelines have just come out – and they are as bad as the conditions in which most Australian chickens live. They fail to improve animal welfare, fail to meet community expectations and fail to incorporate scientific developments. They are clucking awful!
Despite this, World Animal Protection will make a submission and call for higher welfare standards for chickens bred for meat and layer hens producing eggs. But we need to prove enough Australians want real change for chickens. Will you add your name to our submission?
The more of you who make clear that the draft standards and guidelines are a missed opportunity to achieve change for chickens, the more hope we have of improving them.Sign our petition today. Together, we can help create change for Australian chickens.
In our public submission, we will call for welfare improvements such as:
- A nationwide ban on cages for all poultry
- Enough space and provisions for chickens to stretch their wings, forage, perch, dustbathe, nest, fly and just behave naturally
- Slower growing breeds to enable normal development and reduce health issues
- Minimum light intensity to allow normal eye development, movement and natural behaviours
- Darkness at night so the chickens can sleep and natural light during the day
- Specialised vet care and trained staff to regularly assess chickens' welfare
- Regular reviews of the Standards and Guidelines so they will always be up to date with the latest science.