Animal regulation: Fast food chains treat chicken differently

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The big fast food chains in the Netherlands score very differently when it comes to their chicken welfare efforts. In the annual list of the World Animal Protection Organization, the Kentucky Fried Chicken chain ranks first again. Rival Burger King is far behind.

The high scores for KFC are due to the company’s commitment to various welfare improvements for the chickens it uses. This includes implementing standards such as using slower growing breeds of chicken and allowing more room to move around. Through its policy, KFC ensures tens of millions of chickens have a better life each year, according to Global Animal Protection.

Researchers say Domino’s Pizza and New York Pizza are making some progress. Pizza chains have now signed up to the Better Chicken Commitment, but its implementation—and thus actual results—has not been reported yet.

Very bad

Burger King has been rated “very poor” by the organization. This means that the burger chain is still on the McDonald’s menu, for example. “Unlike many other companies, Burger King refuses to throw out floppy chicken,” says Julia Bakker, Agriculture Campaign Manager at World Animal Protection Netherlands. However, Burger King has a number of vegetarian and vegan options on the menu these days. At the bottom of the Dutch ranking are also Starbucks and Subway.

There are also differences between the countries in which the chains are active. For example, World Animal Protection has placed Burger King significantly higher on the list in a few other countries. Starbucks and Subway also score better in the United States.

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Chains have not yet responded to the findings of the investigation.

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