What’s the story with New Zealand chicken farming?
New Zealanders care about animal welfare. A recent poll showed that 90% of Kiwis place importance on protecting the welfare of farmed animals.1
Many food brands take this position seriously, responding to the expectations of Kiwis when it comes to animal welfare, including The Coffee Club, Columbus Coffee, HelloFresh and Domino’s. Overseas, 29 café chains have done the same. They’re all demanding for chicken meat standards to be improved by their suppliers, putting specific, measurable standards in place.
The reality of chicken farming is distressing. Barren sheds house 40,000 or more chickens, dumped there at just a day old. The birds have been selectively bred to grow unnaturally fast, doubling in size every week, to be slaughtered at just six weeks old. These breeds of chickens grow so big and so fast that many suffer chronic pain and lameness. Some can’t lift their bodies up off the floor to reach food or water. Others struggle to breathe or suffer organ failure within weeks of being hatched. All because they’ve been bred to grow faster than nature intended. They live in squalor, amidst their own waste and that of thousands of other birds.
Companies signing the Better Chicken Commitment are making a pledge to do better, to use chicken meat from farms that use healthier chicken breeds and treat the birds better.
The sad side to your latte
Going to a café should be a positive experience. But for chickens, the reality of industrial mega-farms and the mistreatment of their birds is totally abhorrent. While many companies are demanding better, some are still dragging their heels. They are choosing to serve up suffering.
For New Zealanders increasingly conscious about animal welfare, this is an unwelcome side to their lattes.
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Help us out
Share this report with your friends and family. Make sure they take notice of which cafés are leading and which ones are playing chicken when it comes to being serious about animal welfare.
- Horizon Research Omnibus. Polling for Animal Policy International – June 2023.