Game report recommends industry changes

The Farm Animal Welfare (FAWC) has published its report into the welfare of farmed gamebirds which calls for the end of spectacles usage to restrict vision.

Entitled 'Opinion on the Welfare of Farmed Gamebirds' the report recommends for the end of the use of the flap of plastic clipped to the top of beaks restricting forward vision and a closer control of other management devices.

FAWC chair Professor Christopher Wathes said: "This Opinion aims to advise Government, including the devolved administrations, about contemporary welfare issues facing farmed gamebirds."

Approximately 30 to 35m pheasants and 5 to 10m partridges are reared and released each year in Great Britain which has seen an increasing shift, accroding to the FAWC, from simple systems of husbandry to more intensive methods.

Professor Wathes added: "Welfare issues identified during our study of the breeding and rearing processes include the extent and duration of confinement of semi-wild species, sometimes within systems offering a barren, restricting environment."

The report recommends the adoption of Flock Health and Welfare Plans prepared in conjunction with a veterinary surgeon and the phasing out of barren cages for pheasants.

A full report is available to download at

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