M&S commits to improving chicken welfare

M&S commits to improving chicken welfare

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The RSPCA is celebrating news that Marks and Spencer has committed to a huge improvement in chicken welfare and is urging other supermarkets and retailers to follow suit.

More meat chickens are reared each year in the UK than any other land animal and a vast majority are kept in conditions which the RSPCA thinks cause substantial suffering.

M&S is the first retailer to pledge to meet welfare requirements for meat chickens which have been drawn up by a partnership of animal protection groups, including the RSPCA

The groups are urging retailers and foodservice businesses across Europe to commit to raising welfare standards across their whole chicken supply chain by 2026.

This includes using higher welfare chicken breeds and providing natural light, enough room, enrichment (such as straw bales and vegetables to peck at), perching and humane methods of slaughter.

Shoppers who care about chicken welfare can look for RSPCA Assured labelled products which are on sale in Sainsbury's, Aldi, Co-op, Ocado and Lidl.

RSPCA Assured chicken is available from: 

Find out where to buy it in your area by entering your postcode on our where to buy map.

In order to have the RSPCA Assured label farmers have to meet the RSPCA’s strict welfare standards.

You can ask your supermarket to stock more higher welfare chicken via our online form.

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“The scale of suffering within the meat chicken industry is substantial, including the use of fast-growing breeds which can contribute to painful conditions such as severe lameness and heart defects.
“This move by M&S is a giant leap in the right direction for chickens and consumers, and we commend their decision to kickstart this movement and lead the field.”

 RSPCA farm animal welfare specialist Sophie Elwes 

Date: 11 Jan 2018