Do you know that the European Union is one of the world’s biggest poultrymeat producers? Annual meat production involves up to 13.5 million tons of poultry. All European farmers are obliged to comply with commercial standards that are specifically established for the needs of this market.1
Poultry consumption per person averages 25 kg per annum. According to research, global poultry consumption should rise by 20% within the next 20 years. It is expected that 40% of this increase will come from Asia.2. As can be seen, the demand is really huge. Last year’s Eurostat 3 data indicate that Poland is one of the biggest poultry exporters in the EU with 2.7 million tons per annum.
However, production on such a huge scale is a very responsible task. After all, poultrymeat regularly appears on tables in many households every day. It is, therefore, important to ensure its highest quality. For this reason, the health and welfare of animals is a priority. On the global scene, farms controlled by the EU represent a very high level, being in the forefront with regard to standards and laws establishing detailed animal breeding guidelines.
Hens require mainly adequate treatment. The number of hens reared in free ranges and on litter systematically increases. One of many guidelines is the compulsory limit of 9 hens per one square meter. Moreover, each hen should have its own place on litter. Each animal must also have unlimited access to feed.
The producers’ obligation is to report each hen rearing farm to relevant authorities in EU countries. After their analysis of conditions prevailing on the relevant farm, the production unit acquires its own number so that the origin of goods could be checked.4
Feed for hens must be nutritionally complete and meet all of their needs. During the preparation of feed, special attention is paid to the content of metabolic energy, protein, or mineral ingredients and amino acids. Feed must be fresh and served in hygienic conditions and proper quantities. In addition, laying hens must have constant access to clean water. A mixture for hens may include such ingredients as corn, wheat, barley, fodder chalk, rapeseed oil and lentil seeds.5
The quality supervision of poultry breeding is very elaborate. It is exercised by committees consisting of government representatives chaired by a representative of the European Commission. Regular meetings are held to discuss all aspects of breeding. All committees and groups created for this purpose can be found on the EU’s official website: ec.europa.eu.6
As you can see, the level of poultry breeding in Europe is really high. We owe this to numerous legal regulations and continuous improvements. The welfare of farm animals is our priority, which ensures the safety and high quality of produced goods.
1 - eur-lex.europa.eu (marketing standards for poultrymeat)
2 - wattagnet.com (Asian and global poultry consumption)
3 - eurostat.ec (poultry production)
4 - ec.europa.eu (hen rearing farms)
5 - agrofakt.pl (hen feed)
6 - ec.europa.eu (quality supervision)