Security Classification - NoneNone
17 April 2020
[FYI request #12296 email]
Dear Rebecca Ong
OFFICIAL INFORMATION ACT REQUEST
Thank you for your email of 24 February 2020 requesting information relating to fast-growing
broiler breeds. You specifically requested the following:
I would like to make a request regarding the research you've done regarding the detrimental
effects of using fast-growing broiler breeds on meat chicken health and welfare, including what
scientific literature you've reviewed in relation to this topic. I would also like to know what actions
MPI plan to take on the issue of fast-growing broiler breeds and if MPI plans to take no action, then
why they are taking no action?
Your request has been considered under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) and is refused
pursuant to section 18(d) of the OIA, as the information requested is publicly available.
The link to the meat chickens code of welfare, developed by the National Animal Welfare Advisory
Committee (NAWAC) is below. This code sets the minimum standards that everyone in charge of
meat chickens needs to meet in New Zealand.
At this link you can also access the code report which outlines the key deliberation that NAWAC
had and the relevant literature that NAWAC considered when developing the code. The code and
report contain information regarding the selective breeding of meat chickens for growth and the
effects on their welfare.
In addition NAWAC has also released an opinion paper on selective breeding entitled ‘NAWAC
opinion on animal welfare issues associated with selective breeding’ which can be found at the
In this paper, NAWAC discusses and makes recommendations on the issues relating to selective
breeding of poultry, including meat chickens. NAWAC was established to provide independent
advice to the Government minister responsible for animal welfare. The recommendations will be
considered at the next review of the Code of Welfare.
Agriculture & Investment Services
Animal Health & Welfare
Charles Fergusson Building, 34-38 Bowen Street
Wellington 6140, New Zealand
The above link also provides information about NAWAC, clarifies the distinction with MPI and why
NAWAC published these documents and not MPI.
This paper represents the collective opinion of NAWAC. It has been published because selective
breeding was one of several issues identified by NAWAC for which, in order to fulfil its advisory
function, development and documentation of a formal Committee position was needed.
You have the right under section 28(3) of the OIA to seek an investigation and review by the
Ombudsman of our decision.
Stephen Cobb Director Animal Health & Welfare (Acting)