The National Animal Welfare Standard for the Chicken Meat Industry sets out requirements for the welfare of meat chickens (including meat breeders) during production and processing. The requirements apply to all stages of production unless stated otherwise. The requirements are structured to address the topics of: (1) management requirements; (2) resource requirements; (3) egg management and hatching; (4) housing and husbandry; (5) bird health; (6) handling and transport; and (7) processing.
The requirements in this Standard are based on existing scientific knowledge in terms of meat chicken welfare and farming practices. Future editions will take into account new research and experience.
Wherever possible, the requirements in this Standard are written as performance-based outcomes for meat chicken production and processing and designed to encompass the differences in farming and processing practices. This means that the Standard can be fulfilled by any organisation undertaking the production and processing of meat chickens regardless of the size or complexity of its activities.
Performance-based requirements provide meat chicken production and processing organizations with a great deal of flexibility on how they may choose to demonstrate conformity with this Standard. To fulfil this Standard, organizations involved in chicken meat production and processing activities must also demonstrate that they have identified, understood and fulfilled any relevant regulatory, statutory and contractual requirements (Compliance Requirements).