The Belgian Ministry of Agriculture is financing research into the welfare of poultry during catching, wanting to evaluate conventional catching (3-6 birds per hand held upside down by their legs) with the EonA upright method (1 to 2 birds at a time, never suspended upside down by the legs but always held upright) and, in the case of broilers, also evaluate catching by the machine.
Belgian scientists are now starting the 2-year research project. These scientific researchers invited many people from the Dutch and Belgian poultry industry as well as Eyes on Animals to listen to their plans and ask questions.We were, along with a Dutch scientist also conducting research on this topic, asked to give a presentation about our experiences. We showed videos and photos from our trainings and upright chicken catching nights with commercial catchers at the numerous egg farms in the Netherlands that made the switch to the upright method of catching “spent” hens. Companies that made the switch: Rondeel in 2018, Kipster in 2019, Demeter in 2021, de Grote Kamp (supplier of Ekoplaza) in 2021 and soon, in 2022, also Eike. We are part of the pilot study group and will meet regularly with the scientists and industry stakeholders.