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KFC Wants to Kill Its Chickens More Humanely

European Chicken Commitment mandates that the fried chicken chain will have to implement better animal welfare by 2026

KFC fried chicken UK signs up to sell chicken buckets raised to higher E.U. welfare standards Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images

KFC wants to make its chicken more ethical

The Colonel wants to make finger-lickin’ good fried chicken that does some kind of good too. KFC is the first fast food chain to sign up to the straightforwardly named European Chicken Commitment, which ties signatories to a series of welfare improvement initiatives that must be implemented throughout supply chains by 2026. A particular point of note is that it will require restaurants and supermarkets to commit to purchasing slower growing breeds than are currently most common in fast food supply chains, as well as “providing perches, pecking objects such as straw and vegetables, and natural daylight.”

KFC’s chicken welfare standards have been scrutinised and described as some of the worst out there several times in recent years, most notably in the 2015 documentary Billion Dollar Chicken Shop. The chain has always claimed to meet U.K. and E.U. standards; those standards will be tightened and increased by this commitment. The move is likely to increase pressure on McDonald’s, Tescos, and Sainsbury’s, especially given that KFC’s outsize reputation doesn’t hold up when it comes to chicken volume: its supply chain accounts for only 4 percent of chicken supplied in the U.K. [Guardian]

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