Monday, July 15, 2024

Fast food chains lagging in chicken welfare

Australian fast-food restaurants, such as KFC, Nando’s and Starbucks, have some of the worst chicken welfare standards in their supply chains when compared to their UK and US counterparts, according to a new ranking report.

Fast Food, Slow Progress’ from World Animal Protection Australia calls out the continued use of fast-growing chicken breeds in many Australian supply chains while the rest of the world moves toward slower-growing breeds.

“Factory farming practices, such as the use of fast-growing breeds by fast-food companies, have led to a chicken welfare catastrophe on an unprecedented scale,” said Molly Tamulevich, Food Systems Campaigner at World Animal Protection Australia.

“Switching to slower-growing breeds is the single most impactful change that the industry can make to improve chicken welfare” she said. “Australian fast-food companies have the power to improve the lives of hundreds of millions of animals by signing onto the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC).”

Only one Australian fast-food company has signed on to the BCC so far – Domino’s Australia New Zealand – and therefore they are the only restaurant to achieve a ‘green tick’ ranking in the ‘Fast Food, Slow Progress’ report.

“Domino’s is proud to be the first fast food restaurant chain in both Australia and New Zealand to sign the Better Chicken Commitment, an initiative aimed at significantly improving the welfare of chickens in our region,” said a spokesperson for Domino’s.

“We are proud that 100% of the chickens supplied to Domino’s in Australia and New Zealand have free access to clean water and quality feed, with none housed in cages or multi-tier systems. However, we acknowledge that more can be done to improve broiler welfare standards within our supply chain.

“Domino’s is dedicated to achieving its 2026 targets, ensuring that all of our chicken meets or exceeds the Better Chicken Commitment standards for all 2,300+ stores across Australia, New Zealand and Europe,” the spokesperson said.

World Animal Protection sees the BCC as a beacon of hope for improving chicken welfare globally. These science-based standards – aimed at improving the lives of chickens from birth to slaughter – have been adopted by over 500 food companies worldwide.

World Animal Protection Australia urges Australian fast-food restaurants to address their impacts on chicken welfare by signing the Better Chicken Commitment.

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