Perdue, the third largest chicken producer in the US, announced they will meet higher welfare chicken criteria for any interested customers.
To date, nearly 40 major food companies have committed to align with Global Animal Partnership (GAP) broiler chicken standards by 2024. Those committed agree to:
- Source only chicken breeds that are approved by Global Animal Partnership (GAP) as having higher welfare outcomes;
- Source only chickens that are given improved space allocations, per GAP’s standards;
- Ensure all chickens sourced have an improved environment, including litter, lighting and enrichment, per GAP’s standards;
- and Source only chickens that are more humanely processed, through a multi-step, controlled-atmosphere system.
Perdue has committed to supplying chicken for any future or existing customers who want to align with this GAP standard.
“With Perdue’s commitment to meet demand for higher welfare chicken, transformation of the market is unstoppable,” said Leah Garces, CIWF US Executive Director. “Now that the supply for better chicken is guaranteed, there are no more excuses for food companies attempting to delay the inevitable. It’s the right thing to do for the birds—and given the direction of the market, it’s the right thing to do for any business looking to stay relevant in the future.”
We applaud Perdue’s commitment to addressing the need for chicken that meets higher animal welfare criteria. These criteria are supported by nine key animal protection organizations including Compassion in World Farming.
Notably absent from Perdue’s announcement is a commitment to adhere to this higher standard for 100% of their chickens. However, it is a big step in the right direction, helping to accelerate market change in response to consumer demand for better treatment of chickens.
One year ago, after discussions with Compassion in World Farming, Perdue announced animal welfare improvements like doubling the rate of birds’ physical activity, requiring windows for natural light in all new chicken houses, and eventual controlled atmosphere stunning.
Today’s announcement is the next wave of transparent progress from Perdue. We encourage other poultry processors like Tyson, Sanderson, and Pilgrim’s Pride to make a similar commitment.
We also thank the Humane Society of the United States, Mercy for Animals, and Farm Forward for their work with Perdue in promoting positive change for chickens.
For a top chicken producer to offer a farm animal welfare organization a seat at the table with them to work towards a better life for chickens is something we all want‒ as farmers, consumers, food companies, animal advocates, or the animals themselves. We may have started as adversaries, but ultimately the lives of millions of chickens will now be improved.