As part of its Change for Chickens campaign, World Animal Protection launched the Pecking Order 2018 report, which claimed that some of the biggest fast food chains, such as Nando’s and Subway, ignored chicken welfare to “fuel profits”.
According to World Animal Protection, the companies were assessed via publicly available information on three areas:
- Interest – How important the welfare of chickens is to the company.
- Ambition – The promises a company has made to improve chickens’ lives.
- Transparency – How clear the company is about living up to its promises.
Some of the key findings in the report revealed that none of the assessed chains had a global policy on improving chicken welfare and that the companies provided little information to show how they were performing when it came to chicken welfare.
Nando’s was classed as having “very poor chicken welfare”. Meanwhile, although Subway was among the firms interested in addressing main problems faced by factory-farmed chickens, this was only limited to one region or country.
In response, Nando’s told GlobalMeatNews that it never used caged chickens anywhere in its global supply chain and undertook regular visits to all of its suppliers across the world.
“All our chickens are reared in deep-littered, well ventilated barns,” said a Nando’s spokesperson. “We ensure the markets in which we operate incorporate high animal welfare standards which are determined and regulated by the countries who participate in the ISO and OIE (International Organisation for Standardisation and the International Organisation for Animal Welfare).
“In the UK, all our chickens are barn-reared to Red Tractor standards. We provide details about what this means on the website and we clearly display the Red Tractor logo on every Nando’s UK menu.”
Meanwhile, Subway revealed that it was committed to improving chicken welfare standards across its supply chains.
“Animal welfare is important to us and we work closely with our suppliers to ensure that animals are treated well in accordance with Subway's global Animal Welfare Policy,” said a Subway statement to GlobalMeatNews.
“All UK and Ireland chicken suppliers and their producers must, as a minimum, comply with EU animal welfare legislation and, globally, we support the principles of the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) Five Freedoms, which is a framework to safeguard and continually improve animal welfare.
Subway added: “We are committed to improving chicken welfare standards across our supply chain and are working with Compassion In World Farming in Europe and the USA. All our chicken suppliers source from independently verified farm assured schemes that go above the minimum requirements of legislation to produce to a higher welfare standard. In the UK, this includes rearing chickens at a much lower stocking density of 30kg/m2, compared to the maximum permitted by current EU legislation of 38kg/m2. In Europe, cages are never used for chicken reared for either meat or egg production. All of the chicken sold in European stores is stunned prior to slaughter. All our meat suppliers and their abattoirs are required to comply with relevant legislation. We look forward to receiving the full details of World Animal Protection’s assessment.”
GlobalMeatNews has contacted the other assessed fast food chains such as KFC, Domino’s Pizza, Burger King, Starbucks, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut for comment.