SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Beak Trimming

Farmed Animals

SPCA advocates for an end to the beak trimming of poultry.

Beak trimming is the partial removal of the tip of the beak, often carried out in layer hens to control the impacts of injurious feather pecking. Current intensive poultry systems in New Zealand necessitate the need for beak trimming. Beak trimming is an invasive procedure that can cause both acute and chronic pain and can lead to difficulty feeding and drinking.

Our organisation advocates that the poultry industry and the government focus on poultry management improvement, without resorting to beak trimming, to end animal welfare problems that can occur from injurious pecking. Improvements may include reducing stocking densities, improving diet and pullet rearing methods, changing breed selection, adjusting light intensity and adding range enrichment.

Where other interventions have already been tried and beak trimming is the only option, refinement of the technique must be used, for example, using the lowest level appropriate for infrared beak trimming.

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