Higher welfare framework for laying hens

Entry level requirements

  1. Laying hens are sentient, feeling pain/suffering as well as joy/pleasure. Schemes should focus on reducing negative and increasing positive welfare towards a good life.
  2. Standards comply with EU Laws & Regulations
  3. Standards ensure lifetime assurance, covering the entire lifetime of that animal (rear, farm, transport and slaughter)
  4. Standards are independently verified by a 3rd party once every calendar year. A robust, transparent certification process is in place with ongoing monitoring, feedback and improvement mechanism.
  5. Where criteria aren’t currently practical, programmes promote continuous improvement in other ways (Research, lobby government, work with industry) to facilitate systemic change towards outcome.

Reducing negative experiences

Increasing positive experiences

Laying hen good life opportunities

Comfort

  • Choice of physical environment
  • Choice of thermal environment
  • Choice within the environment whilst minimising harm

Pleasure

  • Cognitive enrichment
  • Food choices

Interest

  • Positively enriched environment
  • Positive experiences of the outdoor environment

Confidence

  • Positive experiences with stock-keepers
  • Nesting choices
  • Positive social experiences within the flock

A healthy life

  • Dust bathing choices
  • Effective day to day management of health and welfare
  • Positive genetic selection for long term health and welfare