Over the past two months, the CRC has run workshops to outline the basic principles of Modified Atmosphere Killing (MAK), accompanied by a complementary session on the composting of dead spent layer hens on-farm. Modified Atmosphere Killing workshops were held in cities in four states (Adelaide, Penrith, Toowoomba and Perth) and featured Drs Peter Scott and Arif Anwar from Scolexia, Mr Geof Runge from AECL, and egg producer Mr Bede Burke.

The sessions discussed the major considerations for MAK in terms of design, construction and operation, and were followed by a case study from Bede on on-farm composting. As Lloyd Thomson, Commercial Manager for the CRC, said, “to maintain accreditation of MAK by the RSPCA, it is critical to ensure egg producers employ a welfare-friendly process, and this was the driving force behind our project to develop and extend to industry the best practice for on-farm euthanasia of spent hens.”

The workshops were “a great blend of on the ground information, practical tools and current research in an area that is important for WA producers” said Commercial Egg Producers’ Association of WA Executive Officer, Lucy Radzikowska.  “I am certain that it was a success for our producers, industry and government representatives”.

With the closure of one Western Australian poultry processing business this week, roll out of this information has proved to be quite timely.  Producers who missed the workshops can contact Poultry CRC to obtain a copy of the best practice manual and summary flyer sheets.

MAK cover