A new poll shows four out of five Americans want food companies to commit to greatly reducing the suffering of chickens in their supply chains, even if it results in higher prices.
The poll — conducted by NRG Research Group — surveyed consumers on improving each step of a broiler chicken’s life, from genetic selection to slaughter.
Some key findings
• 83 percent oppose using chickens bred to grow so fast they often become crippled under their own weight and support switching to breeds with higher welfare outcomes.
• 76 percent support ending live-shackle slaughter in favor of less cruel systems that eliminate the suffering caused by shackling, shocking, and slitting the throats of conscious animals.
• 78 percent oppose extreme crowding by which each chicken is provided with less than a square foot of floor space.
• 78 percent support banning these conditions even if per-pound cost of chicken meat increases.
Those surveyed also said they strongly support measures such as:
• Keeping chicken litter clean enough to prevent eye sores, flesh burns and respiratory distress.
• Providing environmental enrichment, such as straw bales and pecking objects, so chickens can engage in natural behaviors.
• Improving lighting standards, including at least six hours of darkness each day to avoid further accelerating the chickens’ growth.
• Implementing third-party auditing programs to ensure laws and commitments are not violated.