THE CHICKEN WELFARE PROGRESS REPORT
Chickens raised for meat, also known as broiler chickens, make up approximately 95% of the farm animals in our food system—over nine billion are raised and slaughtered each year in the US. The vast majority of them experience significant welfare issues due to breeding for fast growth, high stocking densities, barren environments that do not allow for the expression of natural behaviors, and pre-slaughter stunning systems that require stressful live-shackling. The need for meaningful improvements has never been greater.
The good news is that the market is currently undergoing a monumental shift toward meaningful changes that will drastically improve chickens’ lives. To date, over 200 companies across multiple sectors have committed to fully transition to higher welfare systems by 2026. In response to their customers, producers are stepping up to meet the demand for healthier genetics, more space, enriched living conditions, and more.
This is where Compassion in World Farming plays a crucial role. Our progress-tracking tool, ChickenTrack, is designed to help companies navigate this massive market shift. The purpose of ChickenTrack is to:
- Ensure that food businesses can and will stick to their commitments to improve broiler chicken welfare across 100% of their supply chains;
- Provide assistance to food businesses during their transition to a higher welfare chicken supply; and
- Encourage transparency in the marketplace.
This year marks the third annual ChickenTrack report, which:
- Includes an overview of the Better Chicken Commitment, a resource on available certification schemes, and an update on higher welfare breeds;
- Outlines a framework through which companies can report progress towards the Better Chicken Commitment;
- Provides insight into how companies have progressed by featuring three companies advancing their broiler welfare goals and describing the procompetitive efforts of the US Working Group for Broiler Welfare; and
- For the first time, captures the public reporting of 12 companies who have begun to transition their supply chains to meet BCC standards.
Over the course of the next year, Compassion USA will continue to help companies roadmap their transition to a higher welfare broiler supply, provide them with critical resources to support that work, and encourage them to report transparently on progress. This year’s ChickenTrack report, as well as a selection of Compassion USA’s technical resources, can be found below.
Resources for food businesses:
- 2020 ChickenTrack report
- 2019 ChickenTrack report
- Broiler Welfare Certification Checklist
- Webinar: Better Chicken Commitment Breed Update
- Welfare Outcomes for Broilers
- Assessment of University of Guelph Breed Study Initial Findings
- Guide to Humane Slaughter of Broiler Chickens
- Overview of the Better Chicken Commitment
- Common Questions About the Better Chicken Commitment
Stay tuned for more updates! Questions? Contact our Food Business team.