Today Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage company, announced a major animal welfare policy that will ban many of the cruelest and most horrific factory farming practices from its U.S. chicken supply chain. The company’s pledge follows discussions with Mercy For Animals.
Nestlé USA’s animal welfare policy will meet standards set by Global Animal Partnership (GAP), an international animal welfare rating program, which include the following:
- Ending the use of lower-welfare breeds, as these chickens are bred to grow so big, so fast that many collapse under their own weight and can’t even walk without pain
- Ending extreme crowding and providing each chicken more floor space
- Keeping chickens’ litter clean enough to prevent eye sores, flesh burns, and respiratory distress
- Improving lighting standards, including at least six hours of darkness each night and sufficient light during the day to decrease illness and disease
- Ending live-shackle slaughter in favor of the less cruel method of controlled-atmosphere stunning, which eliminates the suffering caused by shackling, shocking, and slitting the throats of conscious animals
Nestlé USA’s pledge is part of a growing industry trend. Over the past month, consumer packaged goods companies Unilever, General Mills, and Campbell have committed to standards laid out by GAP. Many restaurant chains have also adopted these standards, including Burger King, Subway, Chipotle, Qdoba, TGI Fridays, Ruby Tuesday, Red Robin, Panera Bread, Starbucks, Pret A Manger, Shake Shack, Noodles & Company, Le Pain Quotidien, Einstein Bros., and Jack in the Box.
Despite pledges by dozens of their industry peers and overwhelming consumer demand, companies such as Chili’s continue to allow horrific animal abuse.
Demand that Chili’s act on this urgent issue—sign our petition.
Of course, the best way for individual consumers to prevent the suffering of chickens and other farmed animals is simply to leave them off their plates. Check out these nine fascinating facts that will change how you see chickens.