Huge win! Denmark agrees to phase out fast-growing broiler chickens
The Danish government and key Danish political parties have agreed to phase out the state procurement of fast-growing chickens, and vowed to back a ban on the farming of fast-growing broilers at EU level.
This landmark move will significantly improve the welfare of the nation’s broiler chickens. Fast-growing broilers cannot live a good life, as due to their fast-growing nature, they suffer from a range of problems from the moment they are born - from injuries to lameness and heart issues. For this reason, animal protection NGOs across Europe have been campaigning for years to outlaw fast-growing broiler breeds in the EU’s animal welfare legislation.
Denmark proved to be on the forefront of the fight for better animal protection last week when a new political agreement was announced, with four key points to:
- Establish a working group shedding light on animal welfare challenges in relation to the production of broiler chickens in Denmark
- Phase out the production of fast-growing broilers at EU level
- Campaign under the auspices of the State Animal Welfare Label with effect from 2023. The campaign must contribute to promoting demand for slow-growing broilers
- Phase out the Danish government’s procurement of fast-growing broilers.
The working group will prepare a report on the animal welfare standards in Danish broiler production, including the conditions for parent animals. The working group's report is part of the overall effort to phase-out the production of fast-growing broilers.
It’s particularly notable that the Danish government openly declared their support for a ban at EU level and are actively engaged in achieving it, in recognition of the overwhelming majority of EU citizens who wish animals were better protected in the EU.
The initiative to take decisive action on broiler welfare is part of a larger animal welfare package that will be announced before summer this year, according to the Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Jacob Jensen.
We welcome this initiative together with our Danish member, Dyrenes Beskyttelse, who has been working towards achieving a ban on fast-growing broiler chickens in Denmark for years (press release available here). This move from Denmark proves a strong commitment to animal welfare from Member States, and strengthens the case for ambitious revised animal welfare legislation.
Broiler chickens have - deservedly - been taking the spotlight recently, with Animal Equality securing a vote from the PETI Committee last month to keep a petition on outlawing fast-growing broiler chickens open. Read more here.