The Danske Æg trade association has decided to stop de-beaking battery
chickens as experience of the past few years shows that it is no longer
necessary, according to Foodculture.dk from the Danish Agriculture and Food
“Hens have new and better cages with nesting material, perches and more space.
And in recent years people have been raising chickens that are less likely
to be aggressive. Two thirds of the battery chicken egg producers have
already dropped de-beaking,” Sector Chief Jørgen Nyberg Larsen tells the
Larsen says that the fact that some producers still de-beak is down to habit
more than necessity.
Veterinary Susanne Kabell of the Knowledge Centre for Agriculture says
de-beaking of Danish hens probably does not involve pain for the hens as
long as the procedure is carried out according to the rules. Nonetheless,
she believes that the decision to stop de-beaking is a positive one.
“It is always a good idea that animals can live as naturally as possible. So
it’s a good idea to stop trimming their beaks in order to avoid stress,” she
tells the newsletter.
But she adds that if a beak is trimmed wrongly, it has major consequences for
the hen as it then has difficulty eating.
“There is no real need to trim any more, and there hasn’t been a need for the
past five to ten years. But we have only just dared stop for fear of
cannibalism among our battery chickens,” says Helge Strandgaard Hansen, a
battery egg producer from Funen.
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