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Animal Welfare During the Heatwave

View profile for Rebecca Ironmonger
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The recent heatwave, where the highest temperatures on record for the UK were recorded in some areas, was uncomfortable for most of us, but truly problematic for our farmers, livestock transporters and slaughterhouses.

There have been reports of high numbers of deaths of poultry on farms, in transport and at slaughterhouses during the heatwave due to heat stress.

There are obligations on farmers, transporters and slaughterhouses to protect animals from adverse weather conditions and to prevent avoidable pain, distress or suffering.

As the temperatures were the highest on record, it is inevitable that some ventilation systems will have failed or not have been efficient enough to cope with the temperatures.

The fact that many birds died in the heat means that there will be investigations by the relevant regulators for each section of the production chain, which could lead to prosecutions of businesses and individuals if the regulator is not satisfied that everything which could have been done to prevent the deaths was done.

Our Regulatory team has extensive experience in advising clients in cases involving adverse weather and heat stress in poultry. If you or your business faced difficulties during the heatwave and you are being investigated by the regulator, please get in touch with our Regulatory team who will be able to help.