Chickens raised for meat, also known as broiler chickens, make up approximately 95% of the farm animals in our food system—nearly nine billion are raised and slaughtered each year in the US. The vast majority of them experience significant welfare issues due to breeding for fast growth, high stocking densities, barren environments that do not allow for expression of natural behaviors, and pre-slaughter stunning systems that require stressful live-shackling.
The need for meaningful improvements has never been greater.
The good news is that the market is currently undergoing a monumental shift toward making meaningful changes that will drastically improve chickens’ lives. To date, over 130 companies have committed to fully transition to higher welfare systems by 2024. In response to their customers, producers are stepping up to meet the demand for healthier genetics, more space, enriched living conditions, and more.
That’s where Compassion in World Farming comes in. We’re launching ChickenTrack, a new progress-tracking tool designed to help companies navigate this massive market shift. The purpose of ChickenTrack is to:
- Ensure that food businesses can and will stick to their commitments to improve broiler chicken welfare across 100% of their supply chains;
- Provide assistance to food businesses during their transition to a higher welfare broiler chicken supply; and
- Encourage transparency in the marketplace.
This year we have published an inaugural ChickenTrack report, which provides an overview of the market, highlights two major producers—Perdue and Wayne Farms—that are building the supply of higher welfare chicken, and lays the foundation for companies to begin making and reporting progress. ChickenTrack will begin to highlight progress being made to meet broiler welfare commitments beginning in 2020. Over the course of the next year, Compassion USA will aim to continue helping companies roadmap their transition to a higher welfare broiler supply, provide them with critical resources to support that work, and encourage companies to report transparently on progress being made. The report and a selection of CIWF’s technical resources can be found below.
Resources for food businesses:
- 2019 ChickenTrack report
- Broiler chicken welfare certifications at a glance
- Detailed guide to broiler chicken welfare certifications
- Broiler chicken welfare outcomes for higher welfare breeds
- Guide to humane slaughter of broiler chickens
Stay tuned for more updates! Questions? Contact our Food Business team.