There is mounting optimism that the proposed government ban on beak trimming is set to be shelved – for the time being at least.

Chickens fitted with 'glasses' to stop them fighting, Taizhou City, Jiangsu Province, China - 04 Nov 2015

Chickens fitted with 'glasses' to stop them fighting, Taizhou City, Jiangsu Province, China - 04 Nov 2015But should Defra decide to press ahead, then free-range poultry keepers concerned about injurious feather pecking might be interested in these cunning little accessories from the Fujian Province in southern China.

According to a report in The Metro, Chinese farmer Zhang Xiaolong gave his chickens these plastic “glasses” to stop them fighting.

In fact, they are blinkers, not glasses, which prevent the birds from seeing straight ahead, making direct confrontation more difficult.

“My roosters were always fighting each other – I was losing ten birds a day,” Xiaolong is reported as saying.

“I thought if I could just block their view so they can’t see each other directly, they wouldn’t have fights. It has worked really well.”

Sounds like a “must have” intervention should the animal rights lobby succeed in getting beak trimming banned.