Broilers are excluded from the protection of an antemortem inspection and Annex II.2 welfare protection. However, broilers in abattoirs are protected under EC Regulation 1099/2009, Article 14/15 and related Annex II and Annex III. Furthermore, under Annex III 1.3, birds delivered in containers must have perforated flexible floors. There are risks to welfare as 10 mm2 perforations may create a hazard for bird claw entrapment. The perforations were not defined, this may be critical, as bird claw reflexes grasp any floor bar, to stabilise themselves. Their claws may become trapped as the perforated floor gaps open and narrow while the drawer floors fluctuate, with the trailer vibration or movement. Observations confirmed that bird claws may become trapped or torn. Pressure to fill lines resulted in staff wrenching trapped vocalising birds free in a painful manner. Claw trapping in grid holes may be avoided by reducing the size/shape of grid perforations.
- trapped claws
- video evidence
- square plastic grid holes
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Contributors This is JJC’s own study on the welfare of broilers at slaughter. The work is with the approval of the abattoir management, who are interested in the welfare of these birds.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement No additional data are available.
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