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Poultry: Animal Welfare

Volume 508: debated on Thursday 8 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department plans to take to reduce the incidence of keel bone fractures in laying hens; and if he will make a statement. (325831)

The Government recognise that this is a key welfare concern in laying hens, which is why DEFRA's animal welfare research programme is currently funding a three-year project by the university of Bristol on the impact of keel bone fractures on the welfare of laying hens. The aim of this study is to understand and identify risk factors associated with keel bone fractures in order to consider how to adapt production systems to improve the welfare of laying hens.