DEFRA study supports gamebird code

PheasantChicksA DEFRA-funded study into gamebird rearing, published 24 July, supports the current DEFRA Code for the Welfare of Gamebirds, used by the British gamebird industry.

The results of the study, entitled ‘Study to determine whether cage-based breeding can meet the needs of game birds, and if not, to identify best practice’ were released after the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) requested its publication.

Glynn Evans, head of game and deer management at BASC said: “BASC had called for the publication of this research and is grateful that DEFRA has 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.”

Adrian Blackmore, director of shooting for the Countryside Alliance said, “We are pleased that this rigorous research approves current best practice in British gamebird rearing, and shows that rearing birds in raised laying units can meet animal welfare standards when undertaken properly.”

The Game Farmers’ Association also reacted to the findings, saying: “The research shows that properly managed raised laying units are consistent with good bird welfare and that those who choose to use them, over a grass-based system, are fully justified in doing so.”

You can read the study and the DEFRA code online.

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