As it says on the tin, The Feathered Forager is all about “uncovering morsels from the world of poultry” – and the recent meeting of the Norfolk and Suffolk Poultry Association provided rich pickings.

hitler_05.jpgFor example, we learned that it was Adolf Hitler who introduced the first animal welfare legislation known to man. Apparently he passed a law in 1933 banning the slaughter of animals without pre-stunning – though it seems he was more motivated by a desire to wind up the Jews, than a specific commitment to animal welfare.

We also learned that the slaughter industry is the biggest industry in the world – well, according to the Humane Slaughter Association chappy it is. With a surprising degree of relish he told us that, in the UK alone, some 28 animals are killed every second. Globally, that equates to 3,500 per second, or 320m animals killed every day for human consumption – excluding those dispatched in peoples’ backyards.

The third morsel was the comment that there has been a marked increase in the number of complaints about Christmas turkeys this season. It seems consumers were still happy to leave their birds in the garden shed or garage for a few days before Christmas, despite the unseasonably mild weather, and then wondered why they tasted a bit “gamey”. And with the supermarkets offering “no quibble” guarantees, mostly they got their money back.