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Welfare of Broiler Chickens Bill

This is the text of the Welfare of Broiler Chickens Bill, as presented to the House of Commons and printed on 4 March 1998.

Welfare of Broiler Chickens Bill
1.Protection of broiler chickens.
3.Short title and commencement.





Protect the health and welfare of broiler chickens kept in indoor husbandry systems.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

Protection of broiler chickens.     1. - (1) It shall be an offence to keep or knowingly cause or permit to be kept any broiler chicken in an indoor husbandry system except where-
    (a) the broiler chickens are stocked at a density which does not exceed 21 kilogrammes per square metre;
    (b) the flock size does not exceed 3,000 broiler chickens;
    (c) the broiler chicken is given a sufficient quantity of suitable food to prevent hunger;
    (d) the broiler chicken has legs of sufficient strength to support its body weight and enable it to walk without difficulty;
    (e) the flock is inspected at least twice each day and any broiler chicken having difficulty in walking or in reaching food or water, or which is otherwise injured or diseased, is removed and is either treated immediately or is humanely slaughtered;
    (f) the litter is kept clean and dry at all times; and
    (g) the broiler chickens are collected for transport to the slaughterhouse in such a manner as to avoid any injury to the birds.
      (2) A person shall not be guilty of an offence under subsection (1)(d) where a chicken has been treated or humanely slaughtered immediately after it has been found to be unable to support its weight or to walk without difficulty (whether following inspection under subsection (1)(e) or at any other time).
      (3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.
Interpretation.     2. In this Act "broiler chicken" means a domestic fowl kept for meat production or breeding.
Short title and commencement.     3. - (1) This Act may be cited as the Welfare of Broiler Chickens Act 1998.
      (2) This Act shall come into force at the end of the period of two years beginning on the day on which it is passed.

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Prepared 11 March 1998