Perdue announces improvements to animal welfare policy
Perdue Farms, the nation’s fourth-largest poultry producer, has promised critical improvements to reduce suffering for chickens raised and slaughtered in its supply chain, including the following:
- Providing chickens more floor space with plans to further reduce stocking density
- Providing chickens six hours of darkness at night and increased light levels during the day, including natural light
- Third-party monitoring of all processing facilities
- Conducting more research into breeds with measurably improved welfare.
Perdue’s announcement comes just weeks after a national survey found four out of five Americans want restaurants and grocers to implement policies that eliminate the worst forms of cruelty to chickens in their supply chains.
Perdue also promised to meet the current and future demands of food companies that have committed to using only chickens raised according to Global Animal Partnership standards and slaughtered using controlled-atmosphere stunning. This is a first-of-its-kind pledge among large poultry producers.
Dozens of food companies have already made such commitments, including Burger King, Subway, Chipotle and Panera Bread, in response to consumer outcry about the cruelty inherent in factory farms and slaughterhouses that raise and kill chickens for meat.
A Mercy For Animals undercover investigation revealed workers stomping and kicking chickens to death in a Perdue facility in 2015. As a result of the investigation and discussions with Mercy For Animals, The Humane Society of the United States, and Compassion In World Farming, Perdue took its first steps toward improved chicken welfare with the release of a policy in 2016.
“Perdue’s animal welfare improvements and its promise to meet the demands of companies with progressive animal welfare policies puts other poultry producers on notice,” said Brent Cox, vice president of corporate outreach at Mercy For Animals. “It’s time for Tyson Foods, Foster Farms, and others to catch up with business trends, consumer expectations, and the latest in animal welfare science by committing to GAP standards and eliminating the worst forms of animal abuse in their supply chains.”
For more information, go to www.MercyForAnimals.org.
The best way for individual consumers to protect chickens and other farmed animals from cruelty is simply to leave them off their plates.