RSPCA campaign: be choosy for chicken

26-09-2006 | | |

The RSPCA in the UK has launched a campaign encouraging consumers to be choosy for chicken, citing a recent research report about poor welfare conditions in intensive chicken farming.

The organisation is encouraging consumers to buy chicken meet labelled organic or free-range, or products bearing the RSPCA-endorsed ‘Freedom Food‘ label, which is found on chickens reared under RSPCA welfare standards.
The campaign follows new research that the RSPCA says shows that offering more humane rearing conditions can generate dramatic welfare benefits.
The animal welfare charity looked at chickens reared indoors to current industry standards – under the ‘Red Tractor’ logo scheme, which apply to 90 percent of the 860 million chickens reared every year. These standards were compared with the RSPCA’s Freedom Food standards.
The research found a reduction of 65 per cent in the number of birds that die or are destroyed because they are sick and injured.
At the same time, there was an 82 per cent reduction in painful hock burn and 46 per cent reduction in foot pad burn.
The RSPCA says that supermarket chains are asking suppliers for cheaper chicken, based on their perceptions of what customers want. The RSPCA says that consumers should start speaking with their wallets by buying organic, free-range or Freedom Food chicken.