This week, four billboards were put up in Auckland to highlight the huge gap between what people imagine when they think of ‘free-range’ chicken meat and the reality.
When people think of free-range they picture chickens roaming, outdoors, in well-maintained outdoor areas, with shelter provided. The reality of free-range chicken farming (for meat) is barren sheds, chickens crammed in with tens of thousands of other birds, and unnatural breeds that have suffering coded into their DNA.
Not all chickens are the same. In New Zealand, all chickens bred for meat, even free-range, come from unnatural chicken breeds who grow abnormally fast.
This unnatural growth can lead to these birds suffering many severe health problems, some of which are seen in the images on the billboard designs. From the weight of her body, one of these chickens got stuck on her back, unable to reach food or water. She was just five weeks old.
These billboards are the next step in Animals Aotearoa’s campaign demanding Nando’s and Pita Pit sign the Better Chicken Commitment. While both these companies only sell free-range chicken in New Zealand, overseas they have committed to the much higher standards of the Better Chicken Commitment. This means farms that supply them overseas are changing to have more enrichments, more space for each individual chicken and natural light. But most importantly, a commitment to Better Chicken Commitment standards means that the breed of chickens farmed is changing, to RSPCA UK-approved breeds who grow more naturally.
But Nando’s and Pita Pit are still selling suffering to their New Zealand customers. Is this because they think Kiwis don’t care about animal welfare?
Help us call out Nando’s and Pita Pit’s double-standards.