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Study: British supermarkets ‘trick customers into buying chickens that suffered in industrial farming’


Some packaging of factory-farmed chicken was marked 'higher-welfare' or had images suggesting birds were 'free-range'. But in reality factory-farm chickens don't even have enough space to walk and suffer greatly.

JANE DALTON: ‘Supermarkets are luring shoppers into buying chicken reared in “grim” factory farms with a string of tactics including making out that the birds were free-range, the RSPCA claims. The animal-welfare charity claims that the big retailers are still failing on chicken welfare a decade on from campaigns by celebrity chefs Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver to improve standards…

Experts say popular breeds of chicken struggle to walk and can suffer heart defects, and that a grown factory-farm bird has less space than a caged egg-laying hen… Research from the RSPCA says the most popular supermarkets encourage consumers to buy chickens that have suffered in industrial-style systems, with strategies such as:

● Some intensively reared chicken was labelled “higher standards”

● Some had photos giving the misleading impression the bird was reared outdoors

● Putting higher welfare chicken in less prominent shelf positions

● Special offers on only factory-farmed chicken – found in all supermarkets except Waitrose

● “Excessive” price differences of up to £3.40 a kg between intensively reared and free-range

Asda and Aldi had own-brand packs marked “higher welfare standards”, and Lidl featured a golden stamp saying “higher welfare”, the researchers claimed. The study claims that some packaging of factory-farmed chicken was marked “higher-welfare” or had images suggesting birds were free-range. The RSPCA wants to see compulsory method-of-production labelling after Brexit’. SOURCE…


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