What problems arise from selective breeding in livestock animals?

20 Jan 2022
Due to selective breeding, many farm animals are pushed beyond their natural limits, leading to physical injuries and damage to their welfare. The Intergroup on Animal Welfare is keen to know the extent of these issues and what the Commission has planned to address this problem.

At the December Agrifish Council, Denmark presented a note on keel bone fractures in laying hens. In a European-led study, more than 85% of laying hens examined had keel bone fractures. This is a result of selective breeding of laying hens, whereby small hens are producing eggs larger than their natural capability. Denmark called for the present breeding strategy to be altered and urged the Commission to establish a common EU approach.They also asked the Commission to include breeding issues in the revision of the EU Animal Welfare legislation.   

Joining the Intergroup next week is the Food and Agricultural Policy Consultant for Animal Protection Denmark, Mia Bonichsen, who will provide more information on the specific issue of keel bone fractures in laying hens. We will also hear from Kirsten Vornhagen, Policy Officer for the Animal Welfare, Antimicrobial Resistance Unit at DG SANTE. She will be addressing questions regarding what the next steps are and how to address the issue in EU Policies, including the revision of the animal welfare legislation.

Now is the time to address these issues and find concrete solutions that can be implemented across the Union. 

Join us next Thursday 27th 9:00-10:00 CET.