omino solitario con mano che divide gruppo di omini

No new poultry farms in Europe. Why?

In broiler chicken production, Europe has long since achieved self-sufficiency.

Preventing the European poultry sector from building new poultry farms is a form of regulation apparently dictated by common sense. Only apparently.

There are indeed some underlying problems that are not adequately considered:

  1. Most livestock farms are owned by small farmers and family businesses operating under contract to large processors. Among these farmers, some have not upgraded their herds to modern standards. Usually for two reasons: lack of financial possibilities or lack of children to continue the business. Often a combination of the two.
  2. Other farms, in this case also owned by industry, have other modernisation problems. These are those built many years ago in areas that were suitable at the time but are no longer so today. Either because of logistics, when located in inaccessible areas, or because of the neighbours, when in areas that have since become urbanised. Investing in these farms is risky. Companies would be ready to tear down obsolete farms and build modern ones elsewhere. However, complex bureaucracy and political ignorance (NIMBY) make it extremely difficult to obtain new building permits.
  3. Therefore, in every European country there is a small share of fully legal livestock farms that are slowly ageing and will not be upgraded to modern levels of technology and/or animal welfare.
  4. However, the poultry sector also needs these farms because the demand for broiler chickens is increasing slightly, but steadily. Paradoxically, it is precisely such environmentally protective legislation that keeps them alive.
  5. Furthermore, the worst of these farms are used by animal activists to artfully produce information and images that discredit the entire poultry industry.
  6. This creates a vicious circle in which obsolete farms are held up as examples of unacceptable animal welfare conditions by the very people who prevent their improvement.
  7. Instead, a virtuous circle could be created in which the state helps both to finance the restructuring of smallholder farms and to grant permits to build new farms in place of the old ones.

Unfortunately, as in any human activity, there are operators who go against the rules and self-regulations that instead characterise the vast majority of farmers committed to respecting animal welfare and the health of the entire chain that reaches our table.


Pedine con omini


Poultry associations, which help to disseminate correct behaviour and exchanges of information and technical updates among operators, can contribute to controlling the quality of poultry farms by not accepting irresponsible farmers among their members, by sensitising their members to participate in a careful selection of collaborators and suppliers, and by ousting any members who behave irresponsibly.

M.A.C. therefore does not deny that there are bad examples in the poultry sector, but emphasises that its task is to help blog readers distinguish organisations that belong to a coordinated network of responsible people, from activities that instead behave in an illicit and irresponsible manner, and above all dangerous to the reputation of the system into which they enter without the proper awareness of their role (evidently for speculative exploitation purposes).

We are therefore concerned with conveying correct information about intensively protected poultry farms, whose function is to provide healthy, nutritious and accessible food both economically and geographically.

The main issue we bring to the attention of those who read us is that the poultry system is a global food supply issue.

In saying this, we are certainly not denying the economic return that comes with it, but this is intrinsically linked to the overall sustainability of every activity that humankind performs on our planet.

This is why we do not intend to advertise specific companies in the sector. Instead, we intend to ‘reward’ the sector as a whole by emphasising the importance, usefulness and responsibility of its healthy part.


The editorial staff of M.A.C.