World Animal Protection, an international nongovernmental organization that looks at the welfare of animals has asked poultry farmers in Uganda to improve on the standards of breeding chicken if they are to gain more from their businesses.
Under its campaign ‘Change for Chicken’, the organization is challenging governments and farmers to improve on the standards and methods of bleeding Slow growth rates, access to natural light, enough space to perch, improved litter among others
Dr. Victor Yamo, Campaign Manager, Humane and Sustainable Agriculture – World Animal Protection while referring to a report that was done by world animal protection, ‘Exposing the secret suffering of chickens farmed for meat’, said that the current conditions under which chickens are bred makes it unhealthy for eating and is also inhumane to the chicken.
“It is only fair that these birds be reared under favorable circumstances. At the moment, broilers are reared for 6 weeks and they weigh 2kgs which is totally abnormal. This is bad for the consumer and the chicken itself. In most cases, you find the chicken cannot stand on its legs and is always lying on its chest,” Yamo noted.
He added: “If we want better chicken for our consumers, the growth rate of these chickens must be slowed so that they grow at a relatively normal rate of three months at least. We call upon companies like KFC to improve the lives of the millions of chickens that the company serves to its customers around the world. We want the company to commit to criteria, which will see slower growing birds with more space, litter and natural light to allow for a better quality of life.”
Part of the report on the reality for broiler chicken reads: “Behind chicken, the world’s favorite meat, is a shocking cost that increases daily as the global demand grows. Hidden from consumers, absent from restaurant menus and food labeling, is an appalling catalogue of suffering. It features the painful heart, skin, lung and bone problems and unimaginable stress suffered by industrially-farmed chickens forced to live in dismal conditions and grow as big as possible in the shortest possible time.”
Yamo also revealed that the challenge with farmers is the lack of grounded knowledge on how to take care of their chicken, noting that their decimal skills are a consequence of apprenticeship, that fuels grounds for the recurrence of mistakes.
“We want to involve Industry players especially at the production level because they are the key drivers of the poultry welfare agenda. They are the ones to determine the future of poultry production. Also by holding such meetings we seek to engage with them and get them to understand that we are attacking them but rather wish to work with them to develop standards and sustainable solutions that improve Chicken welfare,’’ he said.