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New report details KFC poultry welfare outcomes

A bag of KFC

KFC UK & IRELAND has launched a major new report detailing a number of welfare outcomes for the broilers in its supply chain.

The fast-food giant said the audit would be repeated annually and was produced by independent specialist FAI Farms.

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It will detail the progress made by KFC towards improving welfare and sourcing chicken that conforms to the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC) by 2026.

The audit tracks more than 350 farms across 34 suppliers and details outcomes such as mortality, leg culls and enrichment.

Progress

This initial publication will act as a benchmark upon which progress made by the chain towards the BCC can be measured.

KFC said it hoped other businesses would follow it in improving supply chain transparency.

The report itself details that, across KFC’s supply chain:

  • Total antibiotic use dropped from 33.76mg/kg in 2015 to 21.32mg/kg in 2019
  • Weighted mortality was down to 4%, from 4.12% in 2015
  • Leg culls were marginally up between 2015-2019. KFC said as mortality was lower, it represents more proactive culling of lame birds

The vast majority of broilers in KFC’s supply chain – 82% – are stocked at between 33-38kg/sq m, with 15% stocked at 30-33kg/sq m (so in line with the BCC) in 2019.

The report also details footpad dermatitis levels (34.94% in 2019) and hock burn rates (12.17% in 2019). It said that more needed to be done to reduce both.

Welfare

KFC supplier Moy Park’s European technical and R&D director, Ursula Lavery, said: “Animal welfare is a condition, a pre-requisite within Moy Park, so we are delighted to see KFC UK & Ireland provide open and transparent data on their commitments and continue to put such an emphasis on chicken health and well-being.”

A good life

Paula MacKenzie, general manager of KFC UK & Ireland, said: “Our mission is simple. We aim to serve the most delicious chicken, freshly prepared by hand in our restaurants, sourced from birds that have had a good life.

“Signing up to the Better Chicken Commitment last year was a huge step for us – and now this first edition of our annual progress report allows us to document our ongoing journey towards ever-improving chicken welfare.

“This report sends a clear message to everyone – our suppliers, our teams and our stakeholders – on exactly what we are looking for in terms of welfare improvement.

“We know that what gets measured gets managed, and the figures in this report represent a solid benchmark against which we can track our future progress.”

The full report can be found here.