Call upon KFC to improve chicken welfare

04 October 2016

Billions of the world’s chickens suffer in secret, and fast food giant KFC can help stop this

As World Animal Day is celebrated around the globe today (October 4), we’re launching the second public action in our Change for chickens campaign, which focuses on KFC.

Last week, thousands of our supporters signed our petition for the first campaign action, urging seven fast good giants to keep caged chicken meat off the menu. We’re now asking KFC to help improve the welfare of chickens on factory farms.

A life of secret suffering

The mass production of meat chickens is one of the biggest causes of animal suffering in the world today.

An estimated 60 billion meat chickens are raised for global consumption each year. Two thirds of these animals (approximately 40 billion) live in bleak, overcrowded sheds or cages. They have little or no natural light or fresh air, and are unable to perform many natural behaviours, such as scratching, pecking and dustbathing.

What’s on your plate?

Consumers are kept in the dark about the appalling conditions endured by the meat chickens they eat. The results of our recent global poll* reveal just how little is known about the chicken on people’s plates, and where it came from.

The poll of 12,000 consumers worldwide, shows that although people are concerned about what they eat, very few know where their meat has come from.

What the poll tells us about consumer views:

  • Four out of five (79%) didn’t know that a chicken will only live on average 42 days
  • Four out of five (81%) said they would not eat chicken from a fast-food chain if they knew it had suffered serious health problems as a result of living in a cramped industrial farm
  • Of those that eat chicken, seven out of ten (71%) never ask where their chicken comes from at fast-food outlets.

Urging KFC to lead by example

We’re challenging KFC - one of the largest fast-food chicken retailers - to adopt our welfare criteria. We’re calling for slower-growing birds with more space, enrichment, more natural light and more opportunities to behave like chickens.

KFC’s animal welfare policy, states that the company’s goal “is to work only with suppliers that demonstrate and maintain compliance with animal welfare practices.” However, they are currently ranked in the second lowest position by Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW), the global measure of company performance on animal welfare.

Supporters are being urged to lend their powerful voices to the campaign by signing our petition to KFC

Conveyor belt industry

Steve McIvor, World Animal Protection CEO, said: “The conveyer belt of rapidly-grown chickens comes at a price. Behind the world’s favourite meat is an unacceptable cost of suffering that is increasing as the global demand for chicken grows.”

Many chickens will suffer painful lameness, and overworked hearts and lungs from the speed at which they are grown, and wounds like skin sores and burns from spending too long in their own waste.

Mr McIvor added: “We need to expose the woefully poor conditions that many factory-grown chickens are living in. They are suffering in secret, behind closed doors and away from public view. KFC has a huge stake in the market with more than 18,000 outlets in 115 countries. We’d like to see the company use its global influence to show it cares about the welfare of chickens.”

Act now

To help create Change for chickens, please sign the petition today. 

*Poll conducted in 12 countries: UK, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, USA, Canada, India, Brazil, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia and China. The poll was conducted by TNS Global.

“The conveyer belt of rapidly-grown chickens comes at a price. Behind the world’s favourite meat is an unacceptable cost of suffering that is increasing as the global demand for chicken grows.” - Steve McIvor, World Animal Protection CEO.
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