Definitions (from the Animal Welfare Meat Chickens Code of Welfare 2012):

Act The Animal Welfare Act 1999.

Advisory livestock personnel

Experienced or trained personnel such as meat chicken advisors, technical

advisors, and hatchery managers in commercial companies and also

includes independent avian specialists, and advisory personnel from

hatcheries and poultry breeding companies.


As defined in the Act:

“(a) Means any live member of the animal kingdom that is –

(i) A mammal; or

(ii) A bird; or

(iii) A reptile; or

(iv) An amphibian; or

(v) A fish (bony or cartilaginous); or

(vi) Any octopus, squid, crab, lobster, or crayfish (including freshwater

crayfish); or

(vii) Any other member of the animal kingdom which is declared from time to

time by the Governor-General, by Order in Council, to be an animal for the

purposes of the Act; and

(b) Includes any mammalian foetus, or any avian or reptilian pre-hatched

young, that is in the last half of its period of gestation or development; and

(c) Includes any marsupial pouch young; but

(d) Does not include –

(i) A human being; or

(ii) Except as provided in paragraph above, any animal in the pre-natal, prehatched,

larval, or other such developmental stage.”

 Available technology

NAWAC takes to mean technologies which are used practically to care for

and manage animals, for example, existing chemicals, drugs, instruments,

devices and facilities.


Protection from the introduction of potential disease-causing organisms.

Brooder area

Area for housing chicks.


Undesirable compaction of surface of litter possibly due to excess moisture.


Newly hatched meat chickens up to seven days of age.


Chicken humanely killed for health or welfare reasons.

Day-old chicks

Chicks up to 72 hours of age (surviving on their internal yolk sack).


Easily crumbled, loose and free-flowing.


Enclosed housing (in sheds or barns) where the environment is controlled and the meat chickens are reliant on human management for all their daily


Good practice

NAWAC takes to mean a standard of care that has a general level of

acceptance among knowledgeable practitioners and experts in the field; is

based on good sense and sound judgement; is practical and thorough; has

robust experiential or scientific foundations; and prevents unreasonable or

unnecessary harm to, or promotes the interests of, the animals to which it is

applied. Good practice also takes account of the evolution of attitudes about

animals and their care.


As defined in the Act: “in relation to an animal, means causing the animal to

suffer, by any act or omission, pain or distress that in its kind or degree, or in

its object, or in the circumstances in which it is inflicted, is unreasonable or


Instantaneous fragmentation

Mechanical method of humane destruction of eggs and day-old chicks (may

also be known as maceration).


An international measure of light intensity (not to be confused with watts).

Meat Chicken / chicken / broiler

A male or female chicken, including day-old and older chicks, kept primarily

for meat production.

 Minimum standards

Minimum standards provide the details of specific actions people need to

take in order to meet the obligations in the Act. They are identified in the text

by a heading, and generally use the word “must” or similar. They are

highlighted in boxes within the text.

Obvious gait deficit

Severely lame chickens that only take a few steps before squatting down or

are incapable of walking on their feet.


As defined in the Act: “in relation to an animal, includes the parent or

guardian of a person under the age of 16 years who –

(a) Owns the animal; and

(b) Is a member of the parent’s or guardian’s household living with and

dependent on the parent or guardian.”

Person in charge

As defined in the Act: “in relation to an animal, includes a person who has an animal in that person’s possession or custody, or under that person’s care, control, or supervision.”


As defined in the Act: “means –

(a) Any animal in a wild state that, subject to subsection (2), the Minister of

Conservation declares, by notice in the Gazette, to be a pest for the

purposes of this Act:

(b) Any member of the family Mustelidae (except where held under a

licence under regulations made under the Wildlife Act 1953):

(c) Any feral cat:

(d) Any feral dog:

(e) Any feral rodent:

(f) Any feral rabbit:

(g) Any feral hare:

(h) Any grass carp:

(i) Any Koi or European carp:

(j) Any silver carp:

(k) Any mosquito fish:

(l) Any animal in a wild state that is a pest or unwanted organism within the

meaning of the Biosecurity Act 1993.”


Placing of chicks in meat chicken shed.


A small opening that provides access between indoor and outside areas.

Recommended best practice

NAWAC takes to mean the best practice agreed at a particular time,

following consideration of scientific information, accumulated experience and

public submissions on this code. It is usually a higher standard of practice

than the minimum standard, except where the minimum standard is best

practice. It is a practice that can be varied as new information comes to light.

Recommendations for best practice will be particularly appropriate where it is

desirable to promote or encourage better care for animals than is provided

as a minimum standard.

Recommended best practices are identified in the text by a heading, and

generally use the word “should”.

Scientific knowledge

NAWAC takes to mean knowledge within animal-based scientific disciplines,

especially those that deal with nutritional, environmental, health, behavioural

and cognitive/neural functions, which are relevant to understanding the

physical, health and behavioural needs of animals. Such knowledge is not

haphazard or anecdotal; it is generated by rigorous and systematic

application of the scientific method, and the results are objectively and

critically reviewed before acceptance.