The way most poultry is caught and loaded in the Netherlands is not only inhumane, it is also against the law. The European Council Regulation 1/2005 states that it is prohibited to lift or drag animals by their legs or cause them unnecessary pain or suffering. (Appendix I, Chapter III, 1.8.d)
“It shall be prohibited to lift or drag the animals by head, ears, horns, legs, tail or fleece, or handle them in such a way as to cause them unnecessary pain or suffering”
Last year we brought this to the attention of the animal welfare organization Wakker Dier, and they followed up by filing an enforcement request with the NVWA (the Dutch authority responsible for enforcing animal welfare regulations). Because the NVWA refused to handle the request, Wakker Dier started a court case, to have a judge force NVWA into action. And with success! Today the judge ruled in favor of Wakker Dier: The Council Regulation prohibits the lifting of poultry by the legs and therefore the NVWA has been ordered to process the enforcement request made by Wakker Dier.
Since 2016 Eyes on Animals has been committed to improving the welfare of hens during catching and loading. The regular method, where hens are caught upside down by one leg 3 to5 at a time and stuffed into crates, causes a lot of stress, pain, breathing problems and often injuries. We have trained several catching teams to catch the hens in a more humane way and we have also convinced 6 large egg companies to catch their hens using our upright method. Our efforts have also insured that the transport crates which can injure the birds are no longer used Recently KASSA, a Dutch TV show, reported on our efforts. Watch it here >>
Together with Wakker Dier we can celebrate another huge success for the hens and other poultry. By working together, we will hopefully soon see the regular catching method phased out and poultry only be caught using the Eyes on Animals upright method.