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The Austrian Poultry Quality Union wants to enforce less space for laying hens, broiler chicken and turkeys under pretense of using antibiotics more efficiently. They call their aim “poultry health program” - a very nice synonym of greed for profit.
If they pull through their plan this means a large step back in the Austrian animal welfare after all the accomplishments in the last few years. Fur farms are already banned and so are battery cages for laying hens. Sadly also barn eggs are produced almost equally cruel. Even if these hens are no longer it is still allowed to keep up to 6000 hens in one barn, which is completely overpowering for an animal who can only cope with about 50 individuals in a group. But still the PQU wants to increase the number of hens per square meter.
„Poultry health“ is a very misleading term. The little space and unhygienic conditions of the poultry farms are the reason for the necessity of antibiotics in the first place. If health was their priority, they’d plead for stricter controls in the welfare of the animals.
Healthy animals who aren’t experiencing stress from the horrible keeping conditions all the time require less or no antibiotics.
A complete ban of animal farms isn’t possible at once, but small reforms might also reach the goal. Legally animals are only things, so hopefully the health minister of Austria knows that we therefore politically need morally appropriate decisions.
For all who also want to encourage the health ministry not to approve of the PQU’s request may contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
And for firm protests against the request contact the office of the PQU (German QGV): email@example.com