The European Food Safety Authority’s Panel on Animal Health and Welfare is launching an online public consultation, or comment period, on its draft scientific report on the welfare aspects of genetic selection in broilers.

The consultation will be open on EFSA’s Web site until April 12, 2010. The EFSA panel will consider the comments in finalizing its report, which provides scientific advice to EU decision makers. It will also consider comments received during a technical meeting with stakeholders held in September 2009. This work will form the basis for two scientific opinions planned to be adopted in June 2010.

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The European Commission has requested that EFSA gather and assess all data available on the subject of genetic selection in broilers and produce two scientific opinions: one on the influence of genetic selection on the welfare and resistance to stress of commercial broilers; and a second on the welfare of broiler breeders. Based on these opinions, the commission will submit a report concerning the influence of genetic parameters on the welfare of chickens to the European Parliament and to the European Council.