What is AAWS?

From Avianza we have promoted AAWS (Avianza Animal Welfare Spain) as a guarantee mark of the Animal Welfare Commitment of Spanish producers. An initiative framed in the common seal "B+ COMMITMENT TO ANIMAL WELFARE", which gathers in a unified image all the meats and products certified by the different systems implemented in a coordinated way by each sector(see news).

In this way, consumers will be able to recognize the poultry meat products that represent the highest degree of compliance by operators with the requirements established by our interprofessional organization in terms of animal welfare and traceability. 

Undoubtedly, a certification process that guarantees citizens that they are consuming quality products under the values in which we believe and work, with the highest level of animal welfare. 

How is it achieved?

AVIANZA's Animal Welfare certification is necessary to obtain the "Avianza Animal Welfare Spain" (AAWS) certification, specific to the poultry meat sector, and for the authorization to use the "Animal Welfare Commitment" Mark.

In order to identify products on the market that comply with the most demanding animal welfare and traceability requirements in the world, the "Animal Welfare Commitment" B+ Mark is a project that arose from the Interprofessional Agrifood Organizations of the Spanish livestock-meat sector and brings together the interprofessional organizations of each of the sectors represented.

The common seal "B+ ANIMAL WELFARE COMMITMENT" strictly guarantees the products of the operators that have been certified through the Procedures and Technical Regulations of the respective "Animal Welfare Commitment" certification schemes, developed by the six Interprofessionals based on the criteria and elements established by ENAC (the National Accreditation Entity), to obtain their accreditable certification recognition.

"B+ ANIMAL WELFARE COMMITMENT" and the respective certification schemes that support it are in a continuous process of verification and improvement, with the objective of recognition and accreditation by ENAC.

The "Animal Welfare Commitment" B+ Mark may be used by operators certified under this Standard to indicate such condition, once authorization for its use has been granted by the B+ Mark Management Commission. 

Target

The AVIANZA Animal Welfare Standard for broiler poultry is intended to lay the foundation for high animal welfare standards in meat poultry production. 

The objective of the AVIANZA Animal Welfare Benchmark certification is to evaluate the animal welfare of poultry farms and processing centers in a standardized and objective manner. 

In addition to ensuring compliance with EU animal welfare legislation, it raises the standards above the legal minimum by extending the scope for action and control with regard to the five freedoms of animal welfare. 

In broiler farms, aspects affecting feeding, behavior, management and handling by personnel and their relationship with the birds, facilities and sanitation are evaluated. 

In processing centers, aspects related to the effect of handling by personnel, transport and related operations, lairage and stunning operations (either electrical or controlled atmosphere), slaughter and bleeding, and possible injuries during these practices are evaluated. The evaluation is carried out by means of audits in which direct and indirect conditions that may affect poultry are verified. 

Therefore, certification under the AVIANZA Animal Welfare Standard will provide companies with added value with the following characteristics: 

  • Demonstrate their responsibility and awareness of animal-friendly production methods. 
  • Evidence of compliance with the legal requirements in relation to animal welfare and the present referential. 
  • Increase the confidence of your current consumers and the demands of potential consumers.
  • Improve good animal management practices and, therefore, contribute to greater efficiency in animal production and higher product quality. 
  • Work with accredited certification bodies and qualified auditors. 
  • Enable evaluation of suppliers based on a standard. 
  • Ensure greater comparability and transparency. 

The regulation develops the bases and tools necessary to verify animal welfare in poultry production, both in poultry farms and in slaughtering, cutting and processing centers, which will give rise to eligibility for the granting of the AVIANZA Animal Welfare Certificate ("Avianza Animal WelfareSpain" (AAWS).

5 principles, 5 freedoms

In order to have common animal welfare standards for all poultry farmers and processing centers in the field of poultry farming, it is necessary to stipulate clear and scientifically based guidelines that evaluate the animal welfare of poultry in an independent and objective manner, which justifies the creation of the AVIANZA Animal Welfare Benchmark.

Thus, according to the Terrestrial Animal Health Code of the World Organization for Animal Health (OMSA, WOAH), animal welfare "means the physical and mental state of an animal in relation to the conditions in which it lives and dies". The OMSA principles on animals reflect the European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for farming purposes, and encompass the so-called "five freedoms" adopted by the Farm Animal Welfare Council. 

These guidelines are widely recognized and define the rights of animals when in human care:

  • To live free from hunger, thirst and malnutrition.
  • To live free of fear and anguish.
  • Living free of physical and thermal discomfort.
  • To live free from pain, injury and disease.
  • Living free to manifest natural behavior. 

Scope of application

The scope of application of the AVIANZA Animal Welfare Standard is the poultry meat sector (chickens) and covers the following links in the production chain:

Broiler farms 

From day-old chicks until their departure to the processing center (farm = a single number of the General Registry of Livestock Holdings-REGA).

These are sites for the primary production of broiler chickens, and whose activity is to market and/or supply poultry to the poultry meat sector. 

The farming system in chicken farms for meat production determines the products that can be certified under this AVIANZA Animal Welfare Standard. According to Annex II of Royal Decree 637/2021, these are:

  • Ecological breeding.
  • Campero raised in total freedom.
  • Traditional Campero.
  • Campero.
  • Extensive indoors.
  • Indoor poultry house.

Broiler processing centers

These are facilities where live birds are treated with different practices to obtain chicken products by slaughtering, butchering and processing the birds.  

This certification is applicable to processing centers that apply both electrical and controlled atmosphere stunning (CAS).

Who performs the Certification?

Certification shall be carried out by certification bodies that meet the requirements established in the regulations for this purpose.

The certification will be valid for one year. For certification renewal, follow-up audits will be carried out to verify compliance with the requirements established in the AVIANZA Animal Welfare Standard.

Information available to the public

AVIANZA, as owner of the scheme, makes the following documentation available to the public:

  • AAWS Regulations.
  • Technical Regulations of the AVIANZA Animal Welfare Standards "Avianza Animal Welfare Spain" (AAWS).
  • Audit and evaluation guide for farms.
  • Audit and evaluation guide for processing centers.
  • General Regulations for the Use of the Animal Welfare Commitment B+ Mark.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Arán Zaldívar
Deputy Technical Director
avianza[@]avianza.org