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Better chicken

All chickens deserve better. Over 1 billion chickens are estimated to be farmed in the UK this year. More than 90% of these chickens are bred to grow quickly and reared in dimly lit and overcrowded conditions. They've little room to move around freely and perform natural behaviours like perching and preening. The vast majority of these chickens are reared to standards that we believe are not good enough in terms of animal welfare.

We demand change

We want for all UK retailers and the food service industry to agree with The Better Chicken Commitment and deliver on their commitment.

The Better Chicken Commitment

The Better Chicken Commitment (BCC) is a set of standards for improving broiler welfare driving the food industry towards higher welfare practices. A number of animal protection organisations have united in their agreement on what the most pressing welfare concerns are for broiler chickens. These concerns have informed the development of 'The Better Chicken Commitment'.

The BCC outlines six key requirements for farming chickens to higher welfare standards. There are over one billion chickens slaughtered for meat in the UK each year alone, many of which will endure significant suffering because basic welfare needs aren’t being addressed. This needs to change.

Reaching higher welfare practices

The Better Chicken Commitment stipulates key requirements which promote higher welfare practices, such as:

  • Indoor reared birds, without outdoor access, need to be given more room in order to have the chance to peck, scratch, dust bathe and rest without being disturbed
  • Indoor reared birds have natural light provided, which means they won't spend their whole lives in dark, artificially lit conditions
  • Provision of enrichment items, things that the birds can explore and peck at, as well as perching so birds can roost
  • No cages or multi-tier systems
  • Standards for slaughter which are more humane than live shackling and water bath stunning.

Consumers demand improved animal welfare and food quality standards

Consumers are increasingly concerned about where their food comes from and how it was produced. Retailers and the food service industry can show their customers that they're meeting rising expectations for animal welfare, sustainability, and food quality.

Find out more about The Better Chicken Commitment

What we're doing to help

We're calling on supermarkets and the food service industry to sign up for The Better Chicken Commitment, and commit to raising welfare standards across their whole supply chain of chicken.

Along with RSPCA Assured, we continue to engage with retailers and the food service industry by providing scientific, technical assistance, advice and guidance to retailers to help meet the commitment.

86% of people who buy chicken meat expect supermarkets to ensure all chicken meat they sell is farmed to higher welfare standards.

*Opinion Poll carried out by Kantar TNS between 4th and 8th January 2018. Unweighted base of 1223 GB aged +16 adults and 1058 GB +16 chicken meat buyers.

UK retailers need to commit to higher welfare

All major UK retailers, quick food service companies and chain restaurants sell chicken meat from intensive systems. M&S and Waitrose and Partners have both committed to move all its chicken meat to the higher welfare requirements of the Ask. 

Sainsbury's, Aldi, Co-op Food, Ocado and Lidl sell chicken meat labelled RSPCA Assured. In fact only, only 1.2% of chicken in the UK is produced under the RSPCA Assured label. Retailers who provide other higher welfare options such as free-range and organic, only account for a small percentage of sales.

Marks and Spencer is the first UK retailer to commit to switching all its chicken meat to higher welfare. This policy will improve the lives of 57 million chickens each year.

Ask your supermarket to commit to the Better Chicken Commitment

We need your support in raising awareness and showing you want to see higher welfare chicken in the supermarkets and food service industry today.

Use this form, which sends a guide directly to the major retailers. Packed with helpful advice and information, this guide will help encourage retailers to better help chicken welfare and meet consumer needs.

Get involved

Find out how you can help the lives of billions of chickens while protecting human health too.