New Poll – 9 Out Of 10 Canadians Want Cruel Factory Farming Practices Banned

Toronto/Fraser Valley – A new poll conducted by NRG Research Group shows nine out of ten Canadians want food companies to commit to greatly reducing the suffering of chickens in their supply chains, even if it results in higher prices.

This comes on the heels of two high profile animal abuse cases in the Fraser Valley. One involving a dairy operation and the other after the undercover Lilydale chicken investigation.

To view the poll results, visit bit.ly/CanadaChickenSurvey.

The poll surveyed consumers on improving each step of a broiler chicken’s life, from genetic selection to slaughter. Key findings include the following:

  • 90% 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

  • 88% 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

  • 88% oppose extreme crowding by which each chicken is provided with less than a square foot of floor space

  • 86% support banning these conditions even if per-pound cost of chicken meat increases

Respondents also 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; and implementing third-party auditing programs to ensure laws and commitments are not violated.

The poll was conducted just days after the release of an undercover investigation exposing sadistic animal abuse at more than a dozen Lilydale chicken supplier farms. The investigation revealed workers ripping chickens’ legs off, hitting and kicking chickens, and performing crude sex acts with the birds.

Many leading food companies, including Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Boston Pizza, have already adopted meaningful welfare standards to address these issues. But the nation’s largest restaurant conglomerate, Cara Foods, which operates brands such as Harvey’s, Milestones, and Kelsey’s, has yet to commit to a comprehensive broiler welfare policy like its competitors.

“Chickens are the most abused animals on the planet,” said Krista Hiddema, vice president of Mercy For Animals in Canada. “It’s time for Bill Gregson, president and CEO of Cara Foods, to take action to prevent the worst forms of animal abuse in Cara’s supply chain. The longer Cara Foods waits, the more the company sets itself apart as out of touch with consumer expectations and the latest science on animal welfare.”

To view the poll results, visit bit.ly/CanadaChickenSurvey.

The online survey of 500 Canadian consumers was commissioned by Mercy For Animals and conducted by NRG Research Group June 15–20, 2017.

 

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