PETA urges Applebee’s to alter poultry slaughter

12-05-2006 | |

Animal rights group PETA Thursday prodded Applebee’s International Inc. to move toward a more humane method for slaughtering chickens.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which has targeted several restaurant companies recently over this issue, failed to garner more than 5% of shareholder support for a shareholder resolution on the matter at Applebee’s annual meeting on Thursday, but vowed to continue the fight.

PETA’s wants Applebee’s and other restaurant chains, including McDonald’s Corp. , to switch to controlled-atmosphere killing (CAK), a method the group has said is already being used by some European processors.

McDonald’s has been studying the issue and Applebee’s has said it would be duplicative and expensive to also do such a study. Applebee’s said it is not opposed to CAK but believes it warrants “continued study and review.”

Under the CAK method, chickens receive a mixture of gas and oxygen to render them unconscious before the slaughtering process begins. This in contrary to the current US system where chickens are hung upside down and run through electrified water baths to stun them before killing.

PETA cited US Department of Agriculture reports as evidence that millions of chickens annually are conscious through most if not all of the process.

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