AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Global Animal Partnership (G.A.P.) is working to positively impact the welfare of the millions of chickens raised each year through its Better Chicken Project. The organization funded a comprehensive, independent research study performed by scientists at the University of Guelph, as the first step to creating a research-based framework for reinventing the modern-day broiler. The Guelph study, the largest, most comprehensive multidisciplinary study to date, included more than 7,500 broiler chickens from 16 different genetic strains. Results from the study were used to guide the development of G.A.P.’s Broiler Chicken Assessment Protocol and initial list of Better Chicken eligible breeds, announced today.
Breeds deemed eligible through G.A.P.’s Broiler Chicken Assessment Protocol, and use of the protocol, will be transitioned into the G.A.P. program as detailed in G.A.P.’s forthcoming broiler chicken standards v4.0.
“Our mission is continuous improvement of animal welfare, which means we are constantly re-evaluating how we can use our standards to facilitate and support change,” said Anne Malleau, Executive Director of G.A.P.. “The study - a multidisciplinary science-based approach to understanding broiler welfare - both confirmed and informed our thinking and provided the data needed to create a process for our program to bring a ‘better broiler’ to the marketplace.”
G.A.P.’s tiered animal welfare standards have always included requirements for the management, diet, environment and behavioral needs of the birds. Consideration of the breeds used (i.e. genetics), which is well documented to be an integral component to positive animal welfare outcomes, has also been included in the G.A.P. 5-StepⓇ standard for meat chickens, but G.A.P. wanted to switch to an evidence-based approach for determining breed eligibility for its program. The initial list of breeds that pass G.A.P.’s new, innovative Broiler Breed Protocol released today is not meant to be an exhaustive list. Breeding companies are invited to contact G.A.P. to test additional breeds using G.A.P.’s new protocol through a G.A.P. accredited research facility.
About Global Animal Partnership
G.A.P.’s mission is to drive meaningful, continuous improvement of farm animal welfare through multi-level standards development, application, and verification across the supply chain. Currently impacting over 400 million farm animals and growing, we envision a world where farm animals are treated with compassion, managed to a science-based standard, and permitted to express their natural behavior, and where consumers are empowered to make informed purchasing decisions based on transparent animal welfare criteria and labeling.
For more information, the initial breed list, and more on the Guelph Study and Better Chicken Project visit - https://globalanimalpartnership.org/.