Media release: First step in Domino effect to transform NZ chicken industry

Domino’s Pizza has just announced that it has signed the Better Chicken Commitment to significantly improve how its chicken meat is farmed in New Zealand and Australia. Domino’s is the first food business in New Zealand to sign up to these world-leading standards.

The Better Chicken Commitment is a set of world-leading standards governing how chickens bred for meat are farmed. It is an initiative led by more than thirty international animal advocacy organisations, including Compassion in World Farming (which has worked with Domino’s to achieve this commitment) and Animals Aotearoa here in New Zealand.

“This is ground-breaking news for those of us working to create change for chickens bred for meat and a wake-up call to other fast-food restaurants,” says Marianne Macdonald, Executive Director of Animals Aotearoa. “It is fantastic that Domino’s has listened to customer concerns about animal welfare and responsibly acted on the demand for change. Now their competitors must also do right by their customers and follow Domino’s responsible lead.”

The Better Chicken Commitment includes using healthier, slower-growing chicken breeds, providing more space per bird, perches and natural light, and improved slaughter methods. Domino’s will have fully implemented these changes by 2026 for 100% of its chicken Supply.

“The chicken breeds currently used in New Zealand grow so fast they double in size every week. This rapid growth is causing painful lameness in millions of chickens, some so topheavy they are unable to walk. The shift to more active, slower-growing breeds is vital.”

“It’s time for a transformation of the chicken meat industry. This commitment is a huge leap forward. It’s the start of a domino effect that will quickly lead to a chain reaction transforming the food industry, and helping chickens live much better lives.”

Background information:

The Better Chicken Commitment standards and a list of the organisations that have
signed up to it.

In 2020, Domino’s committed to the Better Chicken Commitment in Germany,
Luxembourg, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark. See Domino’s
sustainability report, p39.

Worldwide, there are more than 400 food business commitments to these higher
welfare standards, but this is a first in New Zealand.

Around 120 million chickens are farmed for meat every year in Aotearoa. Information
about how chickens are currently farmed for meat, and the suffering this causes.

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