North­ern VIEWS

The Poultry Bulletin - - NORTHERN VIEWS -

S Wuc­cess for Wakker Dier

ell, it's fi­nally hap­pen­ing. As from 2016, three ma­jor Dutch su­per­mar­kets - Al­bert Heijn, Jumbo and Lidl - will ban­ish reg­u­larly pro­duced poul­try meat from their shelves. An­i­mal rights or­gan­i­sa­tion Wakker Dier hoists the vic­tory flag, now that nearly half of the Dutch fresh chicken con­sump­tion will be free from the so-called 'plofkip' (ex­plod­ing chicken).

Wakker Dier started the cam­paign against the ma­ligned plofkip four years ago. In 2012, most con­sumers had ab­so­lutely no idea un­der which hor­rific cir­cum­stances broil­ers were pro­duced, ac­cord­ing to Wakker Dier. Reg­u­lar broil­ers are lit­er­ally in a tight spot, with 18 to 21 chick­ens (42 kgs) per square me­ter. With their ex­plo­sively fast growth rate - 60 to 65 grams per day - they are trans­formed from a cud­dly lit­tle day old chick to slaugh­ter weight in no more than 36 to 42 days. This high speed grow­ing, in dark sheds, hud­dled to­gether in their own ma­nure, re­sults in nu­mer­ous sole le­sions, con­tu­sions and other ail­ments, ac­cord­ing to the an­i­mal rights ac­tivists. The or­gan­i­sa­tion made that poignantly clear to us, gullible con­sumers, in con­fronta­tional com­mer­cials on ra­dio and tv.

The mar­ket­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that Wakker Dier's di­rec­tor brought in from pre­vi­ous jobs at large food con­cerns like Heineken and Unilever sure came in handy. As did the fact that the Dutch so­ci­ety for the pro­tec­tion of an­i­mals, the Dierenbescherming, in­tro­duced the 'Bet­ter Life Star Sys­tem' for a more an­i­mal friendly way of meat and egg pro­duc­tion. The Star Sys­tem of­fered an al­ter­na­tive for the reg­u­lar broiler pro­duc­tion. Start­ing with One Star, the num­ber of broil­ers is re­duced to a max­i­mum of twelve per square me­ter. One has to use slower

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