KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN: Stop the Animal Cruelty
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KFC: Stop using chickens that have been crammed into wire cages, living and treading in their excrement, where they can’t walk or spread their wings.
The conditions chickens are raised in for their flesh is far less publicised than those raised for eggs. When a BBC documentary investigated a chicken farm that supplies Kentucky Fried Chicken, they discovered about 34,000 chickens penned into a shed with few windows. They are fed drugs which make them grow so large so quickly that their legs can’t keep up, making crippling leg deformities common. The chick’s beaks are cut with hot wires without painkillers and after 35 days of living hell, they are grabbed upside down by their frail legs, thrown into crates and sent to slaughter where their throats are slit. They are then dropped into tanks of scalding-hot water to remove their feathers, often while they are still conscious and able to feel pain. The farmer in charge claims it’s ‘a very good life’. And KFC claim all their suppliers “meet or exceed UK and EU welfare requirements”.
Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, said: “These birds have no meaningful life. They endure a wretched existence in giant windowless sheds stinking with ammonia. A very large number die from starvation or dehydration. About 900million of these birds are produced each year and about 30million-plus die in the sheds.”
For as long as chickens are killed for food a more humane alternative would be to allocate sufficient space around the sheds where they can come out during the day and enjoy their natural behaviour such as pecking, scratching, foraging and outdoor exercise, as well as fresh air and daylight, giving the chickens a much higher, more natural quality of life. This method of rearing is called Standard Free Range and should be made a requirement by law for all shed reared chickens.
“Cheap chicken has become a bread-and-butter product in the catering industry because a lot of outlets expect to make quite a big margin on it” says Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. The least KFC can do is to slightly reduce their “big margin” of profit by allowing the chickens they cruelly exploit, outdoor access during their short lives. These conditions should also be made standard by law.
By leaving the European Union we now have the chance we have not had for 40 years to strengthen protection for animals including supplying outside access for all shed reared chickens. To influence legislation this petition will be presented to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW) which aims to promote the cause of animal welfare by all means available to Parliament at Westminster, and to influence the development and introduction of effective wide-ranging legislation to improve welfare. It also acts as a discussion forum of politicians and welfare experts to looks at areas of concern, which in this case are the horrendous conditions in which chickens reared for their meat exist.
Please sign this petition asking KFC to set a firm deadline to ensure that the lives of the 23million chickens a year which are inhumanely shed reared and killed for its fried chicken buckets are allowed some outside access.
This petition will be delivered to:
Martin Shuker, Managing Director, KFC UK and Ireland
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW)
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