Supermarkets are responsible for the ‘biggest cause of hidden animal suffering’, says environmentalist Chris Packham.
The TV presenter, who regularly uses his platform to advocate for animal welfare issues, has backed The Better Chicken Commitment* (BCC).
The initiative calls on major retailers such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco to improve the conditions for hens raised for their eggs and meat.
So far, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose & Partners are the only supermarket chains to have committed to the BCC.
In a statement sent to PBN, Packham said: “Every year, millions upon millions of chickens are bred to become oversized FrankenChickens, 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.”
Dr. Emma Goodman Milne added: “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 musculoskeletal problems all too common.”
Petition: The Better Chicken Commitment
Packham has also launched an online petition urging supermarkets to join the BCC, which has garnered more than 27,000 signatures.
It reads: “Chickens are gentle, sensitive individuals who feel fear and pain every bit as much as our beloved pets. No animal deserves to lie in its own waste or live in chronic pain.
“While many individuals have suffered through the COVID-19 pandemic, big supermarkets have won out; making huge surges in profits.
“They are so powerful, that they hold immense sway over the way chickens are farmed across the UK and beyond.
“The decisions supermarkets make now, will seal the fate of millions of animals.”
You can sign the petition here
*The Humane League UK, Open Cages, Animal Equality UK, and the RSPCA are all part of the Better Chicken Commitment