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Poultry Regulations

Volume 406: debated on Thursday 5 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations her Department has received about planned restrictions on travelling hours for chickens; whether these will apply to free-range birds; and if she will make a statement. [117142]

Unless suitable food and liquid is available, the maximum permitted journey time for all poultry and domestic birds is 12 hours, disregarding loading and unloading times. This Department has received representations proposing that loading and unloading times should be included within the maximum journey time and the views of industry representatives have been sought. These limits are set down in European Union Directive 91/628, as amended, on the welfare of animals during transport. The European Commission is expected to publish proposals to update and improve this directive later this year.