Meat chicken laying on the ground © RSPCA

Eat. Sit. Suffer. Repeat.

Tesco take a step closer to improving chicken welfare

Thanks to the support from our campaigners, Tesco has taken a step closer to meeting the Better Chicken Commitment by introducing a line of RSPCA Assured chicken called 'Room to Roam'.

This is great news, but we think they can do better. Tweet Tesco and ask them to fully commit as Nandos and KFC have done in the UK.

Tweet Tesco to fully commit

Can't find Room to Roam in your Tesco?

It will really help our further talks with Tesco to know if you've found this range online or instore. Could you answer these quick questions for us?

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The Better Chicken Commitment 

The Better Chicken Commitment has encouraged big players to sign up and improve chicken welfare across the UK and Europe.

But, there are still a number of businesses who aren't convinced that intensively reared meat chickens suffer from growing fast.

The sad truth about meat chickens today

We commissioned a trial looking at fast-growing breeds compared to a slower-growing, higher welfare breed of chicken.

The results are conclusive - genetics of these fast-growing chickens fail to safeguard welfare to such an extent that many birds could be considered as having a life not worth living.

Watch our chicken trial documentary

 

Read the full chicken trial report (PDF 1.7MB)

Cost over care, what our chicken report shows

Mortality

Mortality (including culls), lameness and hock burn were all significantly higher for the fast-growing breeds.

Wooden breast and white striping

The fast-growing chickens suffered significantly higher incidents of wooden breast and white striping.

These are diseases of the breast muscle which can cause pain, as some of the muscle fibres die while the chicken continues to grow.

Overeating

The fast-growing breeds spent significantly more time sitting and eating, particularly towards the end of their life while the slower-growing breed remained active.

Unable to live like a chicken

The fast-growing breeds spent notably less time perching and had trouble doing so, despite trying to. This is likely because of their size.

Why chicken production needs to change

Slower growing over fast-growing

We found significant inefficiencies in standard meat chicken production. It's clear that fast-growing breeds suffer from poor health and welfare due to their genetics.

Legislation is needed to safeguard the welfare of chickens must be implemented.

Cheap chicken

If issues such as mortality, lameness and downgraded carcasses due to poor meat quality (wooden breast and white striping) were taken into account, it would have a considerable impact on the cost of cheap chicken.

The price of chicken is kept artificially low because these issues not being addressed adequately.

Environmental impact

As well as being ethically questionable, the wastefulness of the industry brings into question just how environmentally sustainable standard production is.

Slower-growing higher welfare breeds should replace fast-growing breeds.

Read the full chicken trial report (PDF 1.7MB)

Chickens should be able to behave like chickens

Chickens aren't inanimate objects, they're sentient beings. It's far more important to ensure the way they're raised is to the highest standard as possible.

Big name brands who have already signed

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