THE CHICKEN WELFARE PROGRESS REPORT
Chickens raised for meat, also known as broiler chickens, make up approximately 95% of the farm animals in our food system—over 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 meaningful changes that will drastically improve chickens’ lives. To date, over 180 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 marks the second annual ChickenTrack report, which:
- Provides an overview of the impacts of COVID-19 on the market and broiler welfare;
- Highlights the findings from three recent studies, all of which reinforce the understanding that industry-standard breeds have poor outcomes compared to their slower-growing counterparts; and
- Outlines a framework through which companies can begin making and reporting progress.
ChickenTrack will begin to highlight progress towards broiler welfare commitments in 2021. Over the course of the next year, Compassion USA will continue helping companies roadmap their transition to a higher welfare broiler supply, provide them with critical resources to support that work, and encourage them to report transparently on progress. The report, as well as a selection of Compassion USA’s technical resources, can be found below.
Resources for food businesses:
- 2020 ChickenTrack report
- 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
- Overview of the Better Chicken Commitment
- Common questions about the Better Chicken Commitment
Stay tuned for more updates! Questions? Contact our Food Business team.