The government is being urged to implement immediate action as millions of chickens roasted alive amid the UK's last heatwave.
Charities including The Humane League UK, Open Cages and Animal Equality warn more animals will suffer in the extreme heat unless The Better Chicken Commitment is enforced.
Factory farmed chickens are more susceptible to heat stress due to fast growth which increases their body heat production and blood pressure.
The policy calls for lower stocking densities, better ventilation, as well as the use of hardier slower-growing breeds, that would cope better with extreme heat.
Over 330 companies have already signed onto the BCC including KFC, Greggs, Nando’s, Kraft-Heinz, Compass Group, and Nestlé.
‘A national disgrace’
Whistleblowers who visited the farms after the heatwave described the disturbing scenes they found as “an ocean of green, rotting mush”, which surviving birds were seen eating.
In a statement sent to Vegan Food & Living, Cordelia Britton of The Humane League UK said: “There is another heatwave coming this week and we risk another fresh hell for animals – if we don’t act now chickens will die again and again.
“It’s a national disgrace. We need the Better Chicken Commitment to be made the minimum legal standard, and for existing laws designed to protect animals from high temperatures to be enforced.
“The Government must not shrug its shoulders and wait for the next catastrophe to happen.”
The Better Chicken Commitment
Connor Jackson, CEO of Open Cages, added: “Most of these chickens that were cooked alive were destined for the shelves of Supermarkets like Tesco, Morrisons and Co-op.
“I wish I could say that this is a wake-up call to them, but their deep pockets appear to have made them callous to the welfare of the millions of Frankenchickens they sell every week.
“For years they have refused to sign the Better Chicken Commitment whilst hundreds of companies across the UK & Europe make the change. But if the UK Government were to step in right now they could help ensure tragedies like this never happen again.”
You can learn more about the Better Chicken Commitment here.
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