Three UK animal protection organisations are urging the fast-food chain Subway to take immediate action on the suffering of chickens raised for meat.
As part of a European wide campaign in 14 countries, campaigners are highlighting Subway’s inaction through protests, petitions and social media. There are more than 42,000 franchise restaurants associated with Subway worldwide.
Animal Equality, Open Cages and The Humane League UK say Subway have ignored calls from all three organisations to improve chicken welfare in the footsteps of their competitors, such as KFC. Severe health issues due to selective breeding, extremely overcrowded sheds, and often ineffective stunning methods prior to slaughter, are all part of everyday life in the broiler chicken industry. The conditions on typical UK chicken farms are so harsh that birds often suffer from lameness, deformities and heart attacks, with many dying before they even reach the slaughterhouse.
A new set of standards called the Better Chicken Commitment is being signed by a wave of companies, most recently Leon, Wahaca and KFC. Approximately 200 companies from the USA and Europe have already committed to fulfil the requirements. The organisations state that Subway’s claims of high welfare standards are in direct contrast to reality, and highly misleading to their customers.
“Subway are seriously misleading their customers on animal welfare.”Says Open Cages CEO Connor Jackson. “As a leading animal protection organisation, we can assure that the conditions Subway chickens live in are horrific and outdated – and not ‘high standard’ as they claim. With competitor giants like KFC committing to better welfare, there is no excuse for Subway to continue allowing such suffering.”
“Along with Animal Equality and The Humane League, we are therefore forced to inform their customers directly with the launch of this campaign, with the hope that Subway will make the right decision and sign the Better Chicken Commitment. Their customers will not stand for animal cruelty.”
Subway has avoided making a concrete statement regarding the Better Chicken Commitment for the past two years, said Open Cages, even though the company has already agreed to implement higher animal welfare standards for broiler chickens in the USA and Canada.
The Better Chicken Commitment requires companies to source breeds with higher welfare outcomes, provide more space, and end the use of ineffective stunning methods for 100 percent of chickens in their meat supply chain.
Read more: The Poultry News