Poultry farmers do not have to stop clipping birds’ beaks without anaesthetic until 2021, farm minister Henk Bleker said on Thursday.
A ban on clipping beaks without anaesthetic was introduced in 2001 but successive farm ministers have delayed its introduction.
However, farmers will have to switch to a new method of beak removal using infra red light which is already used for turkeys, Bleker said.
The beaks of some 37 million birds are currently removed every year on Dutch poultry farms to stop the birds pecking each other.
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