Article Text

Evidence of trapped claws in poultry with suffering in transit


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
  • suffering
  • broilers
  • video evidence
  • square plastic grid holes

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