World Animal Protection applauds Tim Hortons and Burger King's commitment to improve chicken welfare by 2024

TORONTO, March 21, 2017 /CNW/ - Today, iconic brands Tim Hortons and Burger King announced a landmark commitment to improve the lives of chickens sourced for their restaurants in Canada and the US by 2024. The announcement made by Restaurant Brands International Inc. (RBI), a Canadian multinational quick service restaurant company that owns these two prominent brands, will positively impact the welfare of millions of chickens.

Aligning with the Global Animal Partnership (GAP) standards, the commitment by RBI includes transitioning to chickens bred to have fewer health problems, more space for birds to move around, better lighting, improved litter quality and enrichments like perches so the chickens can express more of their natural behaviours.  The commitment also states that RBI will be working with animal welfare experts to achieve these changes by 2024.

"We are pleased to support RBI in this transition. Tim Hortons and Burger King's announcement today is the most substantial commitment to improving chicken welfare we've seen to date in Canada," says World Animal Protection Canada's Executive Director Josey Kitson, "and for it to come from such iconic brands is a meaningful indication of where Canadian food companies are heading."

Right now, nearly all the chickens raised for meat in Canada live in dark, barren sheds.  Bred to grow so fast their bones and hearts can't keep up, they suffer painful lameness, sores and other health problems. In a recent global poll released by World Animal Protection, 82% of Canadians said they would not buy chicken from a fast-food chain if they knew it had suffered serious health problems because of living on an industrial farm.

"It's the right thing for RBI, Tim Hortons and Burger King to do for chickens, for their customers and for themselves.  We know that Canadians want responsibly sourced food.  More than seventeen thousand Canadians have taken our Change for Chickens pledge and companies like Tim Hortons and Burger King have taken notice," continues Kitson.

RBI's commitment to source improved welfare chicken for its more than 11,000 North American Tim Hortons and Burger King restaurants will require a substantial investment from Canadian chicken producers.  "This commitment provides direction to both producers and other food companies," says Kitson. "We are looking at the beginning of some very positive changes for chickens."

ENDS

About World Animal Protection:
World Animal Protection, formerly known as the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), is active in more than 50 countries. From our offices around the world, we work with businesses, governments, local partners and animal welfare organizations to find practical ways to prevent animal suffering worldwide. www.worldanimalprotection.ca

Notes to editors:

  • High resolution photography and B-Roll is available on request
  • For further information and interviews with spokespeople please contact
    Beth Sharpe bethsharpe@worldanimalprotection.ca T: 1 416 369 0044 M: 1 647 268 8122
  • In 2016, the poll referenced was conducted in the UK, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, USA, Canada, India, Brazil, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia and China. The poll was conducted by Kantar TNS.

SOURCE World Animal Protection

For further information: Beth Sharpe, bethsharpe@worldanimalprotection.ca, T: 1 416 369 0044, M: 1 647 268 8122

RELATED LINKS
www.worldanimalprotection.ca

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