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News Section Icon Published 10/31/2019

There’s been an important change made today to our Better Chicken Commitment and we wanted you, our supporters, to be among the first to learn about it.

You’ve demanded better for chickens raised for meat, and many of the biggest names in food like Burger King, Subway, and Campbell’s have agreed to make meaningful changes to reduce suffering. 

Specifically, companies have committed to transitioning to healthier geneticsoffering more room to roam, providing enrichments that allow birds to express their natural behaviors, switching to more humane processing, and complying with third-party animal welfare auditing. 

Each of these five components of the Better Chicken Commitment had an original deadline of 2024. Today, there is a slight change: the timeline to transition to healthier genetics is being extended to 2026 

Why provide more time for breed change? 

Because it is our job as effective animal advocates to ensure any change for animals is meaningful, achievable, and based on sound science. If we fail to meet any of these criteria, we fail the animals. 

A team of independent researchers at the University of Guelph is currently working on an in-depth study evaluating which breed(s) of chicken do not inherently suffer as a result of their genetics. The study is taking longer than originally anticipated, but is making significant progress. Once the study concludes, it will naturally take time for companies to transition entirely to new genetic lines of birds. 

Chickens today are bred to grow so large that their legs and organs often cannot support their own weight. And there is emerging evidence that genetic muscle disorders may be causing chronic pain in chickens from the time they are just two weeks old. Your support is driving the change for better chicken, starting with healthier genetics. It is crucial that we get this right. 

We’ve heard from producers that the other four components of the commitment are already being scaled up for the 2024 timeline. And thanks to our ChickenTrack program, companies will be transparently held accountable for their progress. For more info on our Better Chicken Commitment, click here. And please know you can reply to this email if you have any questions. 

It is important to us that we remain as transparent as possible with you, our dedicated supporters, as we work side-by-side to end factory farming once and for all.