Multimedia News Release: The Truth About How Meat Chickens Are Farmed In Australia

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22nd September 2010, 07:25pm - Views: 1709

Conservation Animals Australian Chicken Meat Federation (ACMF) 1 image

Conservation Animals Australian Chicken Meat Federation (ACMF) 2 image

Australian Chicken Meat 

Federation (ACMF) Inc

Level 7 122 Walker Street, North Sydney NSW 2060 

  PO Box 579, North Sydney NSW 2059  

T: 02 9929 4077 

  F: 02 9925 0627 

  Chook Infoline: 1300 424 665




Additional information and high-res images are available via the Multimedia News

Release, please click below: 

A new survey has revealed that despite chicken being a staple of the Australian diet,

most of us simply do not know that meat chickens are never kept in cages.¹ 

“A staggering four out of five Australians (80.6 percent) wrongly believe that in Australia

most meat chickens are farmed using cages”, said Dr Andreas Dubs, Executive Director

of the Australian Chicken Meat Federation (ACMF). 

“Only a tiny proportion of consumers (less than 3 percent) are aware that the Australian

chicken meat industry never uses cages.” 

Interestingly, despite nearly two thirds (63 percent) of all respondents being confident

that they understand the differences between conventional, free range and organic

chicken, the survey reveals that their understanding is often incorrect.

“All meat chickens grown commercially in Australia are housed in barns where they are

free to roam on the floor. In addition, both certified free-range and organic chickens have

access to an outside range during the day,” explained Dr Dubs.

Nearly a quarter (23.3 percent) of all Australians believe that a significant amount or all

chicken sold in Australia is imported, when in fact almost 100 percent* is locally raised

and produced.  This is great news for all consumers since 95% of buyers of chicken

meat state a clear preference for locally produced meat.

“Consumers can be absolutely proud of the standard of our industry and confident that

the chicken in the supermarket, the butcher, the delicatessen, the take-away shop, the



McCrindle Research, 2010. The survey was conducted by McCrindle Research nationally

among 1000 respondents across a representative sample.




quick service restaurant or the high end restaurant is produced to the same high

standard, whether it was farmed in a conventional manner or according to free-range or

organic standards,” Dr Dubs said.

The chicken meat industry is keen to ensure that all the facts are clearly and easily

accessible to consumers.  Its website provides the facts and a

chook infoline is also available (1300 4 CHOOKs, i.e. 1300 424 665) to answer

consumer queries.

Notes to editors:

Chicken meat is farmed in Australia using three main methods:

Conventional: Chickens are raised in large, enclosed barns with litter (wood shavings, rice hull

etc) on the floor.  The older style farms have some "soft" side walls (called curtains) which allow a

degree of control over air movement and temperature within the shed. Modern sheds are generally

of the tunnel ventilated type, with solid walls, large fans placed at one end of the shed and air inlets

at the other end which draw the air across large pads that can be soaked with water to generate

evaporative cooling of the air.

Free range: Free range meat chickens are produced using similar management, housing and

feeding practices as conventional meat chickens. The major differences are that free range

chickens are allowed access to an outside run for part of each day (at least post the brooding

period) and have lower target stocking densities. Antibiotics can be used to treat sick birds but,

once treated, the meat from these birds can no longer be sold as free range.

Organic: Certified organic meat chickens have several additional requirements to free range,



Feed must be predominantly from certified organic ingredients. 


Birds cannot be treated with routine vaccination. There are exceptions, such as where

treatment is required by law or disease cannot be controlled with organic management


Key facts about chicken meat:

Chickens farmed by the Australian chicken meat industry are never kept in cages,

whether conventional, free-range or organic. 

Almost all chicken meat sold in Australia is locally produced.*

* Except for some small amounts found in imported canned products (e.g. chicken soup) and

some frozen cooked meat that comes from New Zealand.

-- ENDS –

For more information or to arrange an interview with Dr Andreas Dubs please


Justine Mackay 

Damien Butler

Dr Andreas Dubs 

Conservation Animals Australian Chicken Meat Federation (ACMF) 4 image




Publicis Life Brands

T: (02) 9006 2944 M: 0435 325 954 E:

Publicis Life Brands

T: 02) 9006 2942  M: 0425 339 280


Executive Director


M: 0432 925 933

About the Australian Chicken Meat Federation

The Australian Chicken Meat Federation (ACMF) is the peak body of Australia’s chicken meat industry,

representing both growers and processors. Its members are the five State Chicken Meat Councils (NSW,

VIC, QLD, SA and WA), the Australian Chicken Growers’ Council and the Australian Poultry Industries


ACMF aims:

To promote and represent the interests of the chicken meat industry

To conduct and support research on behalf of the industry

To liaise with the Australian and state governments on behalf of the industry, as the industry

representative body recognised by the Australian government

To inform and educate the public, chicken meat retailers and suppliers on the nutritional benefits, food

standards, animal welfare and animal health requirements relating to Australian chicken meat.

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