SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Poultry Shows

Animals in Entertainment, Sport, and Work

SPCA advocates for human and animal interactions that promote the physical, health, and behavioural needs of the animals are met before, during, and after the show.

SPCA encourages people to have positive interactions with animals to help them develop an understanding of and empathy for all animals.

SPCA would prefer there were not poultry shows due to the unique behavioural needs of the birds. However, while these are legal SPCA advocates for poultry to be properly looked after at all times. Those responsible for the birds must meet their welfare needs during all aspects of attending poultry shows, ensuring that they do not suffer any pain or distress.

SPCA is concerned that poultry shows are not in the best interest of bird welfare due to their unique physiological and behavioural needs. Poultry owners and show organisers are responsible for the health and welfare of the birds and must be vigilant in actively preventing the spread of disease.

Poultry show activities must provide animals with the choice of interacting with people and the birds should be able to access a suitable and quiet environment with sufficient shelter away from the public.

Birds must be transported in ways that prevent injury or distress. Journeys must be planned, and kept to the shortest duration possible. The birds must be fit to travel, checked regularly, and must be handled humanely. Birds who are unwell must not be transported to or participate in poultry shows. Birds must have access to water and feed as needed and be provided with suitable shelter and an environment allowing them to express their natural behaviour.

SPCA opposes the withholding or restricting of food and water to poultry, unless specifically advised to do so by a veterinarian for therapeutic reasons.

SPCA opposes the dubbing of poultry.

Dubbing is an invasive procedure which is carried out for aesthetic purposes for poultry to be exhibited at shows or in order to overcome the adverse effects of selective breeding or a poor production system. SPCA advocates for this practice to be banned.

SPCA is concerned about the breeding practices of poultry that lead to physical characteristics that are undesirable which lead to unwanted animals or practices such as dubbing. SPCA opposes the removal or the comb, wattles, and earlobes unless it is carried out by a veterinarian for therapeutic reasons and where adequate and appropriate medical care is given before, during, and after the procedure including analgesic and anaesthetic.

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