KFC comes top for chicken welfare among fast food chains as Subway and Starbucks lag behind, says animal charity

KFC is leading UK fast food chains in the welfare of chickens raised for their meat, while Subway, Starbucks, Domino’s and McDonald’s fall far behind, according to an annual ranking by charity World Animal Protection.

By Josie Clarke
Monday, 19th July 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Monday, 19th July 2021, 2:04 pm

The league table ranks fast food restaurants globally and locally on their commitment, ambition and transparency around the welfare of chickens in their supply chain.

In the UK, KFC was the only brand to achieve “leading” status with an overall score of 92%, followed by Nando’s on 78% to reach a level of “good”.

Burger King and Pizza Hut were both assessed as “making progress” with scores of 70% and 67% respectively.

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Starbucks and Subway ranked at the bottom of the table with 0% and a “very poor” assessment.

WAP said KFC’s work with the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC) – a set of standards for birds’ welfare – and its reporting on its performance against its own standards set it apart from other retailers.

KFC was the only brand to achieve “leading” status with an overall score of 92%, followed by Nando’s on 78% to reach a level of “good”.

Nando’s, Burger King and Pizza Hut also scored high points for signing up to the BCC in the UK, unlike Starbucks, Subway, Domino’s or McDonald’s.

The charity said most chicken meat served up by the major fast food chains still came from from birds living in cramped and barren environments with no sunlight, with many suffering from lameness and skin lesions.

Intensive farming methods also often relied on routine antibiotic use as a “quick fix” to keep stressed and sick animals alive, it said.

WAP global campaign head Jonty Whittleton said: “Many big brand restaurants are denying billions of birds the chance to see sunlight, grow at a healthy rate or behave naturally.

“Covid-19 has taught us that the welfare of animals and human health is interlinked – there should be no business as usual. Commercial motives are driving cruelty and suffering, and this needs to end.

“KFC once again has shown leadership in the UK and Europe since they signed up to the Better Chicken Commitment in 2019, which will improve the lives of millions of chickens. But it is disappointing that companies such as Starbucks, Subway, McDonald’s and Domino’s are refusing to change for the better.

He added that World Animal Protection is calling on these global companies to improve the welfare of chickens.

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