“We know the truth about how sentient beings are treated for KFC, we have to ask: Is the farm lying to KFC about its welfare standards, or is KFC lying to us?”
KFC has come under fire for its “misleading” portrayal of chicken farming.
The new investigation follows a short film KFC released last December called “Behind the Bucket.”
The fast food giant teamed up with YouTuber Niko Omilana and news and entertainment website Joe, to present a tour of one of the fast-food giant’s suppliers’ farms.
It showed chickens with fresh straw, swings to play on, and a spacious area for the animals to roam and express natural behaviours.
The footage has garnered more than one million views.
However undercover investigators working on behalf of the vegan food brand VFC set out to uncover the true story. They visited the same farm showcased by the fast-food giant only to find the birds living in deplorable conditions.
According to VFC, there was very little straw on the ground, which was “sodden with animal faeces.”
The brand’s investigators also reported severe overcrowding, plastic-wrapped bales, perches so high up that were inaccessible to the birds, and a large number of sick, lame and dead birds littered on the floor.
They added that “the dead bins outside the unit were so full that animals’ limbs protruded from the top.”
“It soon became clear that someone was lying about ‘high welfare standards’,” VFC wrote on Instagram alongside footage of what they saw on the farms.
“Animals being treated this way makes us angry. Green washing makes us angry, too,” the brand added.
“So, now we know the truth about how sentient beings are treated for KFC, we have to ask: Is the farm lying to KFC about its welfare standards, or is KFC lying to us?”
‘Most disingenuous marketing campaign’
The farm in question is Park Farm (North) in Kettlethorpe, Lincolnshire, and it rears birds for one of the largest “poultry” producers, Moy Park. It sells birds to KFC, as well as to supermarkets and other retailers.
VFC’s co-founder Matthew Glover, who visited the farm said: “This is the most disingenuous marketing campaign we have seen for a long time.
“This portrayal of chicken farming is utterly misleading and seeks to reassure the public that all is well, when nothing could be further from the truth.
“People have a right to know how filthy and crowded these farms are; how birds suffer and die right there in the sheds; and that the bins overflow with the carcasses of the poor animals who could not survive even a few weeks in such conditions. “
After viewing VFC’s footage, Paul Roger, a vet and founder member of the Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law Veterinary Association, told the Guardian that birds in VFC’s footage were exhibiting “behavioural signs of stress such as feather pecking and topical skin infection”.
Responding to the allegations KFC said: “We take the welfare of the chickens in our supply chain extremely seriously. We will continue to work with Moy Park to ensure these standards are being met and we will continue to drive transparency, which is an important part of our welfare work – removing misconceptions and ensuring accountability across the industry.”
A Moy Park spokesperson told the Guardian: “Claims such as these are treated incredibly seriously and we immediately reviewed the footage along with independent audits and veterinary reports.
“This farm is managed to a very high standard and our preliminary findings show that it is meeting those standards. The birds are displaying natural behaviours and the farm adheres to all stocking, enrichment and welfare requirements.”
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