The UK will require that chickens raised for meat in the country must be stocked according to a 2007 European Union directive on lowest suggested density. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said it will allow broilers to be stocked at a maximum of 39 kilograms per square meter. The EU directive recommended a density of 33 kilograms per square meter (or about 16 chickens) up to 42 kilograms per square meter (21 chickens).


While broilers comprise the greatest number of farmed animals in the EU at more than 5 billion broilers raised each year, 800 million in the UK, they have been unprotected by law until recently.