Mercy For Animals praises Compass Group Canada for first chicken welfare commitment

Canada's Leading Foodservice Provider Announces Groundbreaking Chicken Welfare Policy, Earning Praise from International Farmed Animal Protection Organization

TORONTO, March 21, 2017 /CNW/ - Today, Compass Group, the nation's leading foodservice provider, pledged to eliminate the worst forms of cruelty from its chicken supply. This landmark policy follows similar pledges from Tim Hortons and Burger King. Mercy For Animals, an international farmed animal protection organization, has been a proud partner in developing this important policy.

Chickens raised for meat, also known as "broilers," are some of the most abused animals on the planet. Breeding for unnaturally rapid growth causes chronic leg injuries and high mortality. Most chickens spend their lives packed in dimly lit, densely crowded sheds. Birds develop painful sores and extreme feather loss from constant contact with wet litter. Built-up waste also creates high ammonia levels that make breathing laborious and painful. At the slaughterhouse, chickens are shackled upside down and have their throats cut open, often while fully conscious.

Compass Group's commitment addresses many of the most troubling aspects of factory chicken farming. Improvements include lower stocking density; using breeds with higher welfare outcomes; better litter and lighting; and other environmental enrichments. The company has also pledged to replace the extremely cruel live-shackle slaughter system with less cruel controlled-atmosphere-stunning systems that eliminate the horrific suffering caused by shackling, shocking, cutting open, and scalding conscious animals. Compass Group will use third-party auditors to ensure compliance. This policy will be fulfilled by 2024.

The following statement can be attributed to Krista Hiddema, vice president of Mercy For Animals in Canada:

It is such a pleasure to work with the leading foodservice provider in Canada. Not only do they continue to set the standard for foodservice; they are also truly committed to adopting the most progressive animal welfare standards in the country. This critical commitment is the first of its kind in Canada and will improve the lives of millions of birds from coast to coast.

Compass Group estimates that this policy will reduce the suffering of millions of chickens in Canada each year. The company hopes to encourage other food industry leaders to join in this pledge to treat animals less cruelly.

It is imperative that other restaurant brands, including Cara—owner of Swiss Chalet, Harvey's, St. Hubert, Milestones, and Kelsey's—acknowledge that animal cruelty has no place in a civilized society. Companies like Cara that fail to adopt this meaningful chicken welfare policy will simply be out of step with consumer expectations and business trends.

Canadian companies must take Compass Group's commitment as a signal of coming industry changes. Consumers are demanding improved animal welfare and expect their trusted brands to lead the way. As always, the best way individual consumers can help farmed animals is to leave them off their plates.


SOURCE Mercy For Animals

For further information: Krista Hiddema, 416-666-3093

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