The Ethics and Politics of Animal Welfare in New Zealand: Broiler Chicken Production as a Case Study
- 378 Downloads
The cause of poor welfare in broilers is multifactorial, but genotype is a major contributor. Modern broilers have been bred for rapid growth, and this leads to increases in lameness and ascites as the legs and hearts of the heavier birds find it difficult to cope with the extra demands placed on them. Visible lameness indicative of pain is more common in New Zealand than in Europe. The government, however, insists that New Zealand welfare standards are higher than Europe. The government also appears to have a strong antipathy to those demanding better welfare for broilers. Reasons for this antipathy and disparities between government statements and research results are discussed. Government publications reveal that animal welfare is seen as a question of image for market access and that there is little concern with animal welfare as an ethical imperative for its own sake. The Animal Welfare Act in theory makes it an offence to ill treat an animal, but in practice allows exemptions for industrial agriculture. The interests of animals may be better protected by an independent animal welfare advisory service.
KeywordsBroilers Lameness New Zealand Politics Welfare
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Bagshaw, C. S., & Matthews, L. R. (2001). Broiler welfare: A review of latest research and projects in progress internationally. Unpublished.Google Scholar
- Bagshaw, C. S., Matthews, L. R., & Rogers, A. (2006). Key indicators of poultry welfare in New Zealand. Unpublished client report to MAF policy.Google Scholar
- Baker, M. G., Sneyd, E., & Wilson, N. A. (2007). Is the major increase in notified campylobacteriosis in New Zealand real? Epidemiology and Infection, 135, 163–170.Google Scholar
- Berg, C. (2004). Pododermatitis and hock burn in broiler chickens. In C. A. Weeks & A. Butterworth (Eds.), Measuring and auditing broiler welfare (pp. 37–49). Wallingford: CABI Publishing.Google Scholar
- Brooks, M. (2006, October) Meat chicken welfare. FMCG, 26.Google Scholar
- Butterworth, A., Knowles, T. G., Whittington, P., Matthews, L., Rogers, A., & Bagshaw, C. S. (2007). Validation of broiler chicken gait scoring training in Thailand, Brazil and New Zealand. Animal Welfare, 16, 177–179.Google Scholar
- Castellini, C., Dal Bosco, A., Mugnai, C., & Bernardini, M. (2002). Performance and behaviour of chickens with different growing rate reared according to the organic system. Italian Journal of Animal Science, 1, 291–300.Google Scholar
- Cooper-Blanks, B., & Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand (PIANZ). (1999). The New Zealand poultry meat industry: An education and industry resource. Lower Hutt: Enterprise New Zealand Trust.Google Scholar
- Compassion in World Farming (CIWF). (2004). Practical alternatives to the factory farming of chickens: Case studies across the European Union. Petersfield: Compassion in World Farming Trust.Google Scholar
- Danbury, T. C., Weeks, C. A., Chambers, J. P., Waterman-Pearson, A. E., & Kestin, S. C. (2000). SC, Self-selection of the analgesic drug carprofen by lame broiler chickens. Veterinary Record, 11, 307–311.Google Scholar
- Duncan, I. (2004). Foreword. In C. A. Weeks & A. Butterworth (Eds.), Measuring and auditing broiler welfare (pp. xi–xii). Wallingford: CABI Publishing.Google Scholar
- Eisnitz, G. A. (1997). Slaughterhouse: The shocking story of greed, neglect, and inhumane treatment inside the US meat industry. New York: Prometheus Books.Google Scholar
- Gregory, N. G. (1997). Meat, meat eating and vegetarianism: A review of the facts. Wellington: MAF Policy Technical Paper. Accessed September 2008, from http://www.maf.govt.nz/mafnet/rural-nz/profitability-and-economics/trends/meat-and-vegetarianism/httoc.htm.
- Gregory, N. G., & Devine, C. D. (1999). Survey of sow accommodation systems used in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, 42, 187–194.Google Scholar
- Hall, A. L. (2001). The effect of stocking density on the welfare and behaviour of broiler chickens reared commercially. Animal Welfare, 10, 23–40.Google Scholar
- Hall, C., & Sandilands, V. (2007). Public attitudes to the welfare of broiler chickens. Animal Welfare, 16, 499–512.Google Scholar
- Haslam, S. M., & Kestin, S. C. (2004). Comparing welfare in different systems. In C. A. Weeks & A. Butterworth (Eds.), Measuring and auditing broiler welfare (pp. 183–195). Wallingford: CABI Publishing.Google Scholar
- Jones, T. A., Donnelly, C. A., & Dawkins, M. S. (2005). Environmental and management factors affecting the welfare of chickens on commercial farms in the United Kingdom and Denmark stocked at five densities. Poultry Science, 84, 1–11.Google Scholar
- Julian, R. J. (2004). Evaluating the impact of metabolic disorders on the welfare of broilers. In C. A. Weeks & A. Butterworth (Eds.), Measuring and auditing broiler welfare (pp. 51–59). Wallingford: CABI Publishing.Google Scholar
- Kestin, S. C., Knowles, T. G., Tinch, A. E., & Gregory, N. G. (1992). Prevalence of leg weakness in broiler chickens and its relationship with genotype. Veterinary Record, 131, 190–194.Google Scholar
- Maxwell, M. H., & Robertson, G. W. (1997). World broiler ascites survey 1996. Poultry International, 36, 16–30.Google Scholar
- McGeown, D., Danbury, T. C., Waterman-Pearson, A. E., & Kestin, S. C. (1999). Effect of carprofen on lameness in broiler chickens. Veterinary Record, 144, 668–671.Google Scholar
- Mellor, D. J. (2002). Animal welfare (broilers chickens: fully housed) code of welfare 2002 report. Wellington: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Retrieved September 2008, from http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/files/regs/animal-welfare/req/codes/broiler-chickens/broiler-chickens.pdf.
- Mench, J. (2004). Lameness. In C. A. Weeks & A. Butterworth (Eds.), Measuring and auditing broiler welfare (pp. 3–17). Wallingford: CABI Publishing.Google Scholar
- Mench, J. A., Garner, J. P., & Falcone, C. (2001). Behavioural activity and its effects on leg problems in broiler chickens. In Proceedings 6th European Symposium on Poultry Welfare, Zollikofen, Switzerland (pp. 152–156), September 1–4, 2001.Google Scholar
- Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF). (2006). Research in progress: 2005/2006 operational research objectives. MAF Policy Information Paper 06/02, Wellington.Google Scholar
- Mireles, A. J., Kim, S. M., & Klasing, K. C. (2005). An acute inflammatory response alters bone homeostasis, body composition, and the humoral immune response of broilers chickens. Poultry Science, 84, 553–560.Google Scholar
- Pattison, M. (1992). Impacts of bone problems on the poultry meat industry. In C. C. Whitehead (Ed.), Bone biology and skeletal disorders in poultry (pp. 329–338). Aberdeen: Carfax.Google Scholar
- Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand (PIANZ). (2001). NAWAC poultry subcommittee meeting held 30 August 2001: PIANZ response—interested parties comments. Unpublished.Google Scholar
- Rampton, S., & Stauber, J. (2001). Trust us we’re experts: How industry manipulates science and gambles with your future. New York: Penguin Putman.Google Scholar
- Regulations Review Committee. (2006). Final Report on complaint about Animal Welfare (Layer Hens) Code of Welfare 2005. Wellington: House of Representatives. Retrieved September 2008, from http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/AEA9B78E-DC45-4063-870D-B9AD87A1BA42/27428/DBSCH_SCR_3418_35091.pdf.
- Rollin, B. E. (1981). Animal rights and human morality. New York: Prometheus.Google Scholar
- Rollin, B. E. (2002). An ethicist’s commentary on equating productivity and welfare. Canadian Veterinary Journal, 43, 83.Google Scholar
- Roy, E. (1999). House of representatives primary production committee report on the animal welfare bill. Wellington: House of Representatives.Google Scholar
- Sankoff, P. (2005). Five years of the “new” animal welfare regime: Lessons learned from New Zealand’s decision to modernize its animal welfare legislation. Animal Law, 11, 2–27.Google Scholar
- Sanotra, G. S., Berg, C., & Lund, J. D. (2003). A comparison between leg problems in Danish and Swedish broiler production. Animal Welfare, 12, 677–683.Google Scholar
- Schlosser, E. (2000). Fast food nation. New York: Houghton Miffin.Google Scholar
- Scientific Committee of Animal Health and Animal Welfare (SCAHAW). (2000). The welfare of chickens kept for meat production (broilers). Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
- Scientific Veterinary Committee (SVC). (1996). Report on the welfare of laying hens. Brussels: Commission of the European Communities, Directorate-General for Agriculture.Google Scholar
- Scientific Veterinary Committee (SVC). (1997). The welfare of intensively kept pigs. Brussels: Commission of the European Communities Directorate-General for Agriculture.Google Scholar
- Thomas, D. G., Ravidran, V., Thomas, D. V., Camden, B. J., Cottam, Y. H., Morel, P. C. H., & Cook, C. J. (2004). Influence of stocking density on the performance, carcass characteristics and selected welfare indicators of broiler chickens. New Zealand Veterinary Journal, 52, 76–81.Google Scholar
- Webster, J. (2004). Animal welfare: A cool eye towards Eden. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Weeks, C. A., & Butterworth, A. (2004). Measuring and auditing broiler welfare. Wallingford: CABI Publishing.Google Scholar
- Yank, V., Rennie, D. & Bero, L. (2007). Financial ties and concordance between results and conclusions in meta-analyses: Retrospective cohort study. British Medical Journal. Accessed September 2008, from www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/335/7631/1202).