Over one million UK chickens 'die needlessly' ever week for cheap supermarket meat | Totally Vegan Buzz

Over one million UK chickens ‘die needlessly’ ever week for cheap supermarket meat

Suffering and misery exposed at farms supplying Morrisons' "welfare assured chicken''
Image: Nickolas warner/Shutterstock.com

According to animal welfare charity Open Cages, about 64 million chickens die prematurely each year in the UK.

In the UK, 1 billion chickens are slaughtered every year for meat. If that wasn’t bad enough, more than a million chickens die every week before reaching slaughter weight, a new report reveals.

According to animal welfare charity Open Cages’ recent analysis of government figures, nearly 64 million chickens in the UK die prematurely each year.

The high mortality is the direct result of factory farming, where every year, millions and millions of chickens are genetically bred to become oversized ‘franken-chickens’ with multiple health issues.

Moreover, these unnatural birds are brutally crammed into bleak, overcrowded sheds, which leads to suffocation and death. One of the most common causes of death in breeds is cardiac arrest, or sudden death syndrome.

‘Utterly disgusting’

 Environmentalist and TV presenter Chris Packham, who regularly uses his platform for animal welfare causes, said in a statement: “I think consumers would be utterly disgusted to know that a million of these intelligent, sensitive birds are dying every week to get cheap chicken onto their plates.”

According to Packham, cheap supermarket chicken is responsible for the ‘biggest cause of hidden animal suffering’.

“The utter misery these animals face on a daily basis is unnecessary and would outrage even the most ardent meat-eaters because it serves no purpose but to satisfy the profits of our major supermarkets, who refuse to help them,” he added.

Connor Jackson is the chief executive of Open Cages. He said: “The supermarkets sell food with advertisements of animals in green fields but never show broiler chickens in sheds. It’s appalling that the supermarkets continue to sell these fast-growing breeds.”

Better Chicken Commitment

The conservationist has also thrown his weight behind The Better Chicken Commitment (BCC) – a welfare policy aimed at phasing out fast-growing, high-yield breeding of chickens and reducing stocking density.

Currently, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose & Partners are the only supermarket chains to have committed to the initiative.

Packham has even launched a petition to urge other supermarkets to follow suit. So far, over 2,00,000 people have signed it.

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.”

If you’d like to show your support, find the petition here.

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