UK supermarket retailer Marks & Spencer’s have become the first major retailer to exclusively stock slower-growing, higher welfare chicken across its fresh produce range. By Autumn 2022, all of it’s fresh chicken products will be higher welfare stock.
The retail giant made this spectacular decision following the launch of the RSPCA-backed Better Chicken Commitment which urges retailers to obtain all their chicken to a selection of higher welfare by 2026. Marks & Spencer’s was already committed to the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC), however they have chosen to speed up their process by switching to RSPCA Assured for all its chicken produce by Autumn 2022, a fantastic milestone for the company. They hope to set a leading example for other large supermarket retailers, in a hope they will follow their lead.
RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said: "We are delighted that M&S has made this fantastic commitment to animal welfare, which will make them the leading retailer in the UK on chicken welfare. The most commonly used breeds of meat or 'broiler' chickens have been specially bred and genetically selected over the years to grow very fast in a short space of time, that many often struggle to walk or stand, and can suffer from severe heart and circulatory issues, as well as usually not being given enough space to easily move around and be active. By simply switching to using only slower growing, higher welfare breeds of chicken, retailers can make an enormous difference to the lives and welfare of millions of chickens reared in this country every year for their meat.”
More than 191,000 people have already signed a change.org petition, which is adding pressure on large supermarket chains to stock chicken which has been treated fairly and correctly, with higher welfare standards as well as giving the chickens a better quality of life. If you’d like to take part and contribute towards the cause, you can sign the petition by click above on the change.org link.