The British Poultry Council is calling on the Government to recognise the needs of the British poultry breeders, specifically with regards to the export of high value British breeding stock including day-old chicks, as the UK transitions out of the EU.
BPC Chief Executive, Richard Griffiths, said:
“British poultry breeders are the world’s most sought-after suppliers of high value breeding stock for poultry meat, with exports worth £230 million a year. As global leaders in research and development, British primary breeders have invested in world class health and welfare standards through their innovative breeding programmes.
Britain sends around 2-3 lorry loads of day old chicks across borders every day. Each load is worth up to £05 million, depending on the generation of bird.
Ahead of the forthcoming consultation on the transport of live animals for slaughter, we ask for the transport of day-old poultry for breeding to be considered as a separate category from transport of livestock for slaughter, as is currently the case under EU legislation.
Standards of welfare during the transport of day-old poultry are very tightly controlled, given that their value is based upon arriving to any global destination at the peak of physical condition. If British breeding companies are not allowed to send day-old poultry on a journey of more than 24 hours, it will restrict UK’s ability to trade. This will have a catastrophic impact and will force businesses to move their breeding programmes to other countries.
The British Poultry Council is the trade association for producers of poultry meat from chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese. Nearly a billion birds are reared for food every year, providing half the meat that the country eats. Our industry has never had direct subsidies and yet contributes £5.5bn GVA to the UK economy and £1.2 billion in tax contribution to the Exchequer. It is more important than ever for the Government to recognise the needs of the British poultry meat sector that has been working around the clock to put food on every table in these extraordinary times.
As the UK begins a new chapter outside the EU, we must control our own destiny on standards of welfare, food safety, and food security. Maintaining high British standards and continuing a healthy trading relationship with the EU will be vital to ensuring nation’s access to affordable food grown to high standards from farm to fork.”
More info on British primary breeders and the importance of trade:
• Losing our primary breeding companies runs the risk of damaging British poultry meat industry’s wider economic contribution to UK GDP and job creation.
• The UK trades with up to 121 countries across the world and nearly a billion birds are reared every year, providing half the meat that the country eats.
• The poultry meat industry has never had direct subsidies and yet contributes £5.5bn GVA to the UK economy and £1.2 billion in tax contribution to the Exchequer.