Eyes on Animals, along with various industry stakeholders, is a member of the steering committee for ILVO’s chicEyes on Animals, along with various industry stakeholders, is a member of the steering committee for ILVO’s chicken catching project “KIPVANG”.ken catching project “KIPVANG”. ILVO, the Belgian Institute for Agricultural, Fisheries, and Food Research, has conducted research over the past 2 years on the catching and loading of laying hens and broiler chickens before transport to the slaughterhouse. This research involved comparing the conventional catching method (hanging birds upside down by one leg, with multiple chickens at once) with the upright catching method, considering animal welfare, costs, and labor impact. Throughout this research, several steering committee meetings were organized to discuss the progress. Today, the (still confidential) final results were presented.
Eyes on Animals is a part of the steering committee due to its experience with the gentle upright catching of chickens. We introduced the „gentle upright catching method“ to various Dutch poultry farmers who are now working with it very satisfactorily. It is important to mention that the upright catching method alone does not guarantee good animal welfare. For instance, if chicken catchers are very rough and uninterested while using the upright method (for example, by throwing chickens or making abrupt and fast movements), stress and the number of injuries can still be significant. Thus, the motivation of chicken catchers to do it gently is just as crucial as using a proper upright catching method. In the Netherlands, Eyes on Animals therefore provides animal welfare training to catching teams that use the upright method.