SALISBURY, Md. – Perdue Farms recently announced plans to end the practice of inserting plastic nasal implants into the nostrils of roosters.

“We have discontinued ordering the implants and will completely stop the practice by Jan. 1, 2017,” the company explained in a statement. “This will give us time to finish converting the feeders used by the females and to make the changes necessary so that males and females continue to receive the appropriate feed.”

The implants, called “Noz Bonz” prevent the male breeder flocks from eating feed formulated for breeder hens, while allowing the males access to feed specifically formulated for roosters, the company said. Perdue joins Springdale, Arkansas-based Tyson Foods Inc. in implementing changes to animal care standards. In August, Tyson announced that beak modification had been discontinued. Animal welfare groups have complained that the practices are painful for chickens.

Compassion Over Killing said in a statement that actions taken by Perdue and Tyson “are important steps in the right direction, though more still needs to be done, such as addressing the underlying welfare issue: birds raised for their meat are genetically manipulated to rapidly grow so obese, they often can’t even walk.”

In addition to discontinuing the nasal implants, Perdue said the company also is updating the company’s Perdue Commitments to Animal Care, released in June. Perdue said the update will be available by early 2017 and will include a wide range of breeder flock initiatives and continued advancements in broiler flock care.