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The Welfare of Farmed Animals (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2002

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Welsh Statutory Instruments

2002 No. 1898 (W.199)

ANIMALS, WALES

PREVENTION OF CRUELTY

The Welfare of Farmed Animals (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2002

Made

18th July 2002

Coming into force

6th August 2002

The National Assembly for Wales, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 2 of the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1968 and now vested in it(1), and after consultation in accordance with section 2 of the 1968 Act, makes the following Regulations:

Title, application and commencement

1.—(1) These Regulations shall be cited as the Welfare of Farmed Animals (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 and apply to Wales only.

(2) Subject to paragraph (3) of this regulation, these Regulations shall come into force on 6th August 2002.

(3) Regulation 2(3) of these Regulations shall come into force on 1st January 2003.

Amendment to the Welfare of Farmed Animals (Wales) Regulations 2001

2.—(1) The Welfare of Farmed Animals (Wales) Regulations 2001 (2) shall be amended in accordance with the following provisions of this regulation.

(2) In regulation 2(1)—

(a)for the definition of “laying hen” the following definition shall be substituted—

  • “laying hen” (“iâr ddodwy”) means a hen of the species Gallus gallus which has reached laying maturity and is kept for production of eggs not intended for hatching;.

(b)after the definition of “laying hen” the following definitions shall be inserted—

  • “litter” (“llaesodr”) means any friable material enabling the hens to satisfy their ethological needs;

  • “nest” (“nyth”) means a separate space for egg laying for an individual hen or a group of hens, the floor components of which may not include wire mesh that can come into contact with the bird or birds; and

(c)after the definition of “statutory welfare code”, the following definition shall be inserted—

  • “usable area” (“lle y gellir ei ddefnyddio”) means an area used by laying hens, not including a nesting area, which is at least 30cm wide with a floor slope not exceeding 14% and with headroom of at least 45 cm;.

(3) Regulation 4 and Schedule 2 shall be revoked.

(4) For regulation 5 there shall be substituted the following regulation:

Additional duties on owners and keepers of poultry (other than those kept in the systems referred to in Schedules 3A, 3B and 3C)

5.  Owners and keepers of poultry (other than those kept in the systems referred to in Schedules 3A, 3B and 3C) shall ensure that, in addition to the requirements set out in Schedule 1, the conditions under which the birds are kept comply with the requirements set out in Schedule 3..

(5) After regulation 5 the following regulation shall be added:

Additional duties on owners and keepers of laying hens

5A.  Owners and keepers of establishments with more than 350 laying hens shall ensure that in addition to the requirements set out in Schedule 1, the conditions under which the birds are kept comply with the requirements set out in Schedules 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D..

(6) In Schedule 1—

(a)for paragraph 2(3)(a) there shall be substituted the following paragraph—

(a)in the case of laying hens kept in all systems, paragraph 1 of Schedule 3D;; and

(b)for paragraph 7(b)(i) there shall be substituted the following paragraph—

(i)in the case of laying hens kept in all systems, paragraph 1 of Schedule 3D;.

(7) For Schedule 3 there shall be substituted the following provisions:

regulation 5

SCHEDULE 3ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH POULTRY (OTHER THAN THOSE KEPT IN THE SYSTEMS REFERRED TO IN SCHEDULES 3A, 3B AND 3C) MUST BE KEPT

Where any poultry (other than those kept in the systems referred to in Schedules 3A, 3B, and 3C) are kept in a building they shall be kept on, or have access at all times to, well-maintained litter or to a well-drained area for resting..

(8) After Schedule 3 there shall be inserted the Schedules 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D set out in the Schedule to these Regulations.

(9) For paragraph (a) of regulation 12 there shall be substituted the following paragraph—

(a)Council Directive 99/74/EC(3) laying down minimum standards for the protection of laying hens..

Signed on behalf of the National Assembly for Wales

John Marek

Deputy Presiding Officer of the National Assembly

18th July 2002

Regulation 2(8)

SCHEDULE

regulation 5 A

SCHEDULE 3ANON-CAGE SYSTEMS

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.  From 1st January 2007, all non-cage systems of production for keeping laying hens shall comply with the requirements of this Schedule.

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 hen or circular feeders providing at least 4 cm per hen;

(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 hen’s foot.

5.  In addition to the requirements of paragraphs 2 and 3—

(a)If systems of rearing 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.

(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 3 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 before 6th August 2002, a stocking density of 12 hens per square metre is authorised until 31 December 2011.

SCHEDULE 3BCONVENTIONAL CAGE SYTEMS

1.  From 1st January 2003 all unenhanced cage systems of rearing laying hens shall comply with the following minimum 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 drinkers or drinking cups are provided, each cage must have a continuous drinking channel of the same length as the feed trough mentioned in sub-paragraph (b) above. 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 height being obtained by a vertical line from the floor to the nearest point in the roof and the area being obtained by multiplying 550cm2 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 hen. 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;

(f)cages shall be fitted with suitable claw-shortening devices.

2.  Rearing laying hens in the cages referred to in this Schedule is prohibited with effect from 1 January 2012.

3.  No cages such as are referred to in this Schedule may be built or brought into service for the first time from 1 January 2003.

SCHEDULE 3CENHANCED CAGE SYSTEMS

1.  All cage systems for rearing laying hens shall comply with the requirements of this Schedule with effect from 1 January 2012.

2.  All cage systems built or brought into service for the purpose of rearing laying hens on or after 1st January 2003 shall comply with the requirements of this Schedule.

3.  Laying hens must have—

(a)at least 750 cm2 of cage area per hen, 600 cm2 of which must 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;

(b)a nest;

(c)litter such that pecking and scratching are possible;

(d)appropriate perches allowing at least 15 cm per hen.

4.  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.

5.  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.

6.  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.

7.  Cages must be fitted with suitable claw-shortening devices.

SCHEDULE 3DCONDITIONS APPLICABLE TO ALL SYSTEMS

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 approximately 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 31 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 (4)..

Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations, which apply to Wales only, implement Council Directive 1999/74/EC of 19 July 1999 laying down minimum standards for the protection of laying hens (O.J. L203, 03/08/1999 p.35—57).

The Regulations make the following amendments to the Welfare of Farmed Animals (Wales) Regulations 2001 (S.I. 2001/2682 (W.223)) (“the Principal Regulations”)—

  • The definition of “laying hen” in the Principal Regulations is amended and new definitions for “litter”, “nest” and usable area” are inserted (regulation 2(2)).

  • A new regulation 5 and Schedule 3 is inserted to apply requirements in relation to the keeping of laying hens other than in systems referred to in the new Schedules 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D to the Principal Regulations (regulations 2(4) and (7)).

  • From 6th August 2002 all newly built or rebuilt non-cage systems (barns, percheries and free-range systems) must comply with the provisions set out in a new Schedule 3A inserted into the Principal Regulations. All such systems must comply with the new Schedule 3A from 1st January 2007. Schedule 3A sets minimum requirements in respect of feeding space for hens, size of drinking troughs, nest space, perches, littered area, construction of installations and stocking density.

  • From 1 January 2003 new provisions will apply to the welfare of hens kept in conventional (“battery”) cages. A new Schedule 3B sets required standards in respect of cage area per hen, feeding troughs, provision of water, height of cages, construction of floors and the provision of claw shortening devices. The use of conventional cages is prohibited with effect from 1 January 2012 and no such cages may be built or brought into use from 1 January 2003.

  • A new Schedule 3C is inserted which sets enhanced required standards for cage systems of rearing laying hens that will apply to all cage systems from 1 January 2012. All cage systems built or brought into service from 1 January 2003 must also comply with these enhanced standards.

  • General standards applicable to all systems of rearing laying hens are set out in a new Schedule 3D to the Principal Regulations. It includes requirements in respect of inspection of hens, sound levels, provision of light, cleansing and disinfection, design of cages and a prohibition on mutilation, but permits beak trimming until 31st December 2010, under certain conditions, including compliance with the Veterinary Surgery (Exemptions) Order 1962.

A regulatory appraisal has been prepared and published on the National Assembly for Wales website (www.wales.gov.uk). Copies can also be obtained from the National Assembly for Wales, Animal Health Division, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NQ.

(1)

1968 c. 34. See section 50 for a definition of “the Ministers”. In relation to Wales, the powers of “the Ministers” were transferred to the National Assembly for Wales by article 2(a) of the National Assembly for Wales (Transfer of Functions) Order 1999 (S.I. 1999/672).

(3)

OJ No. L 203, 3.8.99, p.53.

(4)

S.I. 1962/2557.

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