Report on the welfare of laying hens

PART I: INTRODUCTION

Background

Method of Investigation

Philosophy of Approach

PART II: THE UK EGG INDUSTRY

History

Size and Structure

PART III: SYSTEMS OF PRODUCTION IN THE UK

Introduction

Laying cages

Aviaries

Percheries

Deep litter

Modified deep litter

Free range

PART IV: MAIN WELFARE ISSUES

Introduction

Freedom from hunger and thirst

Feeding and nutrition

Freedom from discomfort

Temperature

Light

Dust and gases

Freedom from pain, injury and disease

Disease

Parasites

Availability of veterinary medicines

Bone weakness and damage

Beak trimming and injurious pecking

Other mutilations

Freedom to express normal behaviour

Space allowances

Group size

Behavioural activities

Nesting

Perching

Using litter

Freedom from fear and distress

Predation

Training

Inspection

PART V: REVIEW OF UK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

Introduction

Conventional battery cages

Enriched cages

Alternatives to conventional and enriched cage systems

Nest boxes

Perching space

Feed and water supplies

Flock or colony size

Deep litter

Perchery and aviary systems

Free range systems

PART VI: OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS

Consumer issues

Environmental issues

PART VII: SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS

Future aims

   Recommendations for early action

   Recommendations for longer term action

   Recommendations for research and development

Appendix A: The Farm Animal Welfare Council

Appendix B: Those who gave evidence and assistance

Appendix C: Egg production systems visited

Appendix D: EC Egg Marketing Regulations - Annex II (as at June 1997)

Appendix E: The Swedish experience