- Draft legislation
This is a draft item of legislation and has not yet been made as a UK Statutory Instrument.
1. All newly built or rebuilt non-cage systems of production for keeping laying hens and all such systems of production brought into use for the first time, shall comply with the requirements of this Schedule.
2. On and after 1st January 2007, all non-cage systems of production for keeping laying hens shall also comply with the following requirements.
3. All systems must be equipped in such a way that all laying hens have:
(a)either linear feeders providing at least 10 cm per bird or circular feeders providing at least 4 cm per bird; and
(b)either continuous drinking troughs providing 2.5 cm per hen or circular drinking troughs providing 1 cm per hen,
and, in addition, where nipple drinkers or cups are used, there shall be at least one nipple drinker or cup for every 10 hens. Where drinking points are plumbed in, at least two cups or two nipple drinkers shall be within reach of each hen;
(c)at least one nest for every seven hens. If group nests are used, there must be at least 1 m2 of nest space for a maximum of 120 hens;
(d)perches, without sharp edges and providing at least 15 cm per hen. Perches must not be mounted above the litter and the horizontal distance between perches must be at least 30 cm and the horizontal distance between the perch and the wall must be at least 20 cm; and
(e)at least 250 cm2 of littered area per hen, the litter occupying at least one third of the ground surface.
4. The floors of installations must be constructed so as to support each of the forward-facing claws of each bird’s foot.
5. In addition to the requirements of paragraphs 2 and 3—
(a)if systems are used where the laying hens can move freely between different levels—
(i)there shall be no more than four levels;
(ii)the headroom between the levels must be at least 45 cm;
(iii)the drinking and feeding facilities must be distributed in such a way as to provide equal access for all hens; and
(iv)the levels must be so arranged as to prevent droppings falling on the levels below; and
(b)if laying hens have access to open runs—
(i)there must be several popholes giving direct access to the outer area, at least 35 cm high and 40 cm wide and extending along the entire length of the building; and in any case, a total opening of 2 m must be available per group of 1,000 hens; and
(ii)open runs must be of an area appropriate to the stocking density and to the nature of the ground, in order to prevent any contamination, and equipped with shelter from inclement weather and predators and, if necessary, appropriate drinking troughs.
6. Subject to paragraph 7, the stocking density must not exceed nine laying hens per square metre of usable area.
7. Where on 3rd August 1999 the establishment applied a system where the usable area corresponded to the available ground surface, and the establishment is still applying this system when the Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 come into force, a stocking density of 12 hens per square metre is authorised until 31st December 2011.
1. On and after 1st January 2003 all conventional (unenriched) cage systems shall comply with the following requirements:
(a)at least 550 cm2 per hen of cage area, measured in a horizontal plane, which may be used without restriction, in particular not including non-waste deflection plates liable to restrict the area available, must be provided for each laying hen. However where the non-waste deflection plate is placed so as not to restrict the area available for the hens to use, then that area may be included in the measurement;
(b)a feed trough which may be used without restriction must be provided. Its length must be at least 10 cm multiplied by the number of hens in the cage;
(c)unless nipple drinker or drinkings cups are provided, each cage must have a continuous drinking channel of the same length as the feed trough mentioned in sub-paragraph (b). Where drinking points are plumbed in, at least two nipple drinkers or two cups must be within reach of each cage;
(d)cages must be at least 40 cm high over at least 65% of the cage area and not less than 35 cm at any point; the area being obtained by multiplying 550 cm2 by the number of birds kept in the cage;
(e)floors of cages must be constructed so as to support each of the forward-facing claws of each foot of each bird. Floor slope must not exceed 14% or 8 degrees when made of rectangular wire mesh and 21.3% or 12 degrees for other types of floor; and
(f)cages shall be fitted with suitable claw-shortening devices.
2. On and after 1st January 2003 no person shall build or bring into service for the first time any cage system referred to in paragraph 1 for the keeping of laying hens.
3. On and after 1st January 2012 no person shall keep any laying hen in any cage system referred to in paragraph 1.
1. All cage systems (other than those referred to in Schedule 3B) shall be enriched to comply with the requirements of this Schedule.
2. Laying hens must have—
(a)at least 750 cm2 of cage area per hen, 600 cm2 of which shall be usable; the height of the cage other than that above the usable area shall be at least 20 cm at every point and no cage shall have a total area that is less than 2000 cm2;
(c)litter such that pecking and scratching are possible; and
(d)appropriate perches allowing at least 15 cm per hen;
3. A feed trough which may be used without restriction must be provided. Its length must be at least 12 cm multiplied by the number of hens in the cage.
4. Each cage must have a drinking system appropriate to the size of the group; where nipple drinkers are provided, at least two nipple drinkers or two cups must be within the reach of each hen.
5. To facilitate inspection, installation and depopulation of hens there must be a minimum aisle width of 90 cm between tiers of cages and a space of at least 35 cm must be allowed between the floor of the building and the bottom tier of cages.
6. Cages must be fitted with suitable claw-shortening devices.
1. All hens must be inspected by the owner or the person responsible for the hens at least once a day.
2. The sound level shall be minimised. Constant or sudden noise shall be avoided. Ventilation fans, feeding machinery or other equipment shall be constructed, placed, operated and maintained in such a way that they cause the least possible noise.
3. All buildings shall have light levels sufficient to allow all hens to see one another and be seen clearly, to investigate their surroundings visually and to show normal levels of activity. Where there is natural light, light apertures must be arranged in such a way that light is distributed evenly within the accommodation.
After the first days of conditioning, the lighting regime shall be such as to prevent health and behavioural problems. Accordingly it must follow a 24-hour rhythm and include an adequate uninterrupted period of darkness lasting, by way of indication, about one third of the day, so that the hens may rest and to avoid problems such as immunodepression and ocular anomalies. A period of twilight of sufficient duration ought to be provided when the light is dimmed so that the hens may settle down without disturbance or injury.
4. Those parts of buildings, equipment or utensils which are in contact with the hens shall be thoroughly cleansed and disinfected regularly and in any case every time depopulation is carried out and before a new batch of hens is brought in. While the cages are occupied, the surfaces and all equipment shall be kept satisfactorily clean. Droppings must be removed as often as necessary and dead hens must be removed every day.
5. Cages must be suitably equipped to prevent hens escaping.
6. Accommodation comprising two or more tiers of cages must have devices or appropriate measures must be taken to allow inspection of all tiers without difficulty and facilitate the removal of hens.
7. The design and dimensions of the cage door must be such that an adult hen can be removed without undergoing unnecessary suffering or sustaining injury.
8. Subject to paragraph 9, no person shall mutilate any laying hen.
9. In order to prevent feather pecking and cannibalism, until 31st December 2010 beak trimming of birds is permitted in all systems referred to in Schedules 3A, 3B and 3C provided it is carried out—
(a)by persons over 18 years of age;
(b)on chickens that are less than 10 days old and intended for laying; and
(c)in accordance with the Veterinary Surgery (Exemptions) Order 1962(1).”.
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