07 May 2021
Liz Wright would like to share a piece of good news about chicken welfare, following February’s highly successful chicken and egg workshop. ‘Burger King has joined Nando’s, KFC, Waitrose & Partners, Marks & Spencer, Nestlé and Knorr by signing up to the Better Chicken Commitment, pledging to improve the welfare of meat chickens across their entire supply, including cheaper chickens, by 2026.
‘The requirements for the commitment have been drawn up by a partnership of animal protection groups, including the RSPCA. The RSPCA has serious concerns about intensively reared birds. The most popular breeds have been genetically selected to grow so fast that many often struggle to walk or stand, and can suffer from severe heart defects. Raising ‘broiler breeders’ is even harder, owing to the welfare implications of over heavy older birds mating and laying.
‘The Better Chicken Commitment advocates the use of higher welfare breeds of chickens and the provision of natural light, more space, enrichment – such as straw bales and objects to peck at – and perching, as well as adopting more humane methods of slaughter.
‘Polling from the RSPCA shows that more than 8 out of 10 people who buy chicken expect the supermarkets to ensure that all chicken meat they sell is farmed to higher welfare standards. You can find out more at welfarecommitments.com/europeletter.’