80% Of Americans Want Good Conditions for Animals Raised for Food

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – We know that animals have always played an important role in agriculture. Now, with rising public awareness of the way animals are raised for food, animal health and welfare is an important area for businesses today — particularly for consumer-facing brands.

Around 70% of chickens raised for meat globally are bred in intensive industrial farming systems. This includes the majority of chickens in the UK, Europe and the US as well as the rapidly increasing numbers in developing countries. Intensively farmed chickens are reared to reach their slaughter weight in less than six weeks; this is half the time it would take traditionally. Their short lives are spent in overcrowded sheds with no access to the outside. Yet, a recent Consumer Reports reveals that 80% of American consumers in all age brackets want good living conditions for animals raised for food.

So, to raise awareness about some of these issues, Mercy For Animals (MFA) has started a campaign, asking companies to publicly commit to improving welfare policies for broiler chickens, which are some of the most abused animals. This not-for-profit organisation is on the frontlines fighting to protect farmed animals. From factory farms to corporate boardrooms, to working with the public, MFA has a mission to speak up against cruelty and for compassion animals; and wants large food companies to adopt better welfare policies for the animals in their supply chains.

MFA is encouraging Arby's to commit to better broiler chicken welfare. Burger King, Chipotle, TGI Fridays, Panera Bread, Starbucks, Pret A Manger, Shake Shack, Le Pain Quotidien have already openly pledged to a comprehensive broiler chicken welfare policy. Subway, the world’s largest fast food chain, recently became the latest company to make this important promise.

Companies are increasingly focusing more attention and resources on farm animal welfare within their supply chains. Like the brands mentioned above, 76% of US companies now have published farm animal welfare policies, compared to 46% of all companies assessed in 2012. The US has shown the greatest improvements in overall performance relative to other markets, rising from an average score of 29 percent in 2015 to 36 percent in 2016 — a significant increase compared to slight increases for UK brands of 48% to 51% and European companies from a 27% to 29% in the same period.

While there is still work to be done to get farm animal welfare on the business agenda of many large global food companies, MFA is determined to soldier on for progress, reporting and shining the spotlight on the impact that these policies are having on the animals.

Photo Credit: MFA