Chris Packham is fronting a campaign urging supermarkets to raise welfare standards for chickens.
The campaign, backed by The Humane League UK, Open Cages, Animal Equality UK, and the RSPCA, says leading supermarkets are “breeding millions of overgrown Franken-chickens” who are unable to stand under their own bodyweight.
Presenter and conservationist Chris, 59, says: “Every year, millions upon millions of chickens are bred to become oversized Franken-chickens, crammed into bleak, overcrowded sheds, and slaughtered at just a few weeks old.
“As a bird lover, I despair at the thought of these gentle, intelligent, and sensitive animals forced to endure such suffering.”
The Better Chicken Commitment was created by experts at animal protection organisations to address the very worst forms of suffering endured by chickens raised and slaughtered for their meat.
Waitrose and M&S have signed up to the Better Chicken Commitment, which will make significant changes to the lives of chickens and end the worst farming practices, but other supermarkets are yet to do so.
Chris adds: “The decisions supermarkets make now, will seal the fate of millions of animals. We must urgently convince the supermarkets that are dragging their heels to change their ways.”
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Reflecting on the issue, vet Dr Emma Goodman Milne said: “Whatever your views on eating meat, we should all be striving for the best welfare possible for the animals we farm.
“Fast-growing breeds of chicken suit our greed for ever-more productive animals but at a huge welfare cost to the birds, with fractures and musculoskeletal problems all too common.”
Chris has launched a petition calling for supermarkets to sign up to the Better Chicken Commitment.