BECO, a dog food brand, has become the first pet food business in the UK to sign up to the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC).

The firm said it was now sourcing free-range broilers from a farm in East Anglia, which exceeds the standard requirements of the BCC.

See also: WATCH: New RSPCA ad promotes its poultry in Tesco

Pet food brands do market free-range chicken in the UK, but it is typically sourced from spent hens.

Pressure is mounting on retailers and restaurants to sign up to the BCC, with firms typically committing to switching their supply chains by 2026.

The measure requires slower-growing breeds and lower stocking densities.

Nando’s and KFC are two recent signatories in the UK.

Raise standards

Beco founder George Bramble said: “Using free-range chicken is rare in the pet industry and is out of reach of most pet brands.

“Signing-up to the Better Chicken Commitment is our way of trying to encourage others to raise their basic chicken welfare standards.

“Our customers care about their dogs, but they also care about the way their foods have been produced and the wider environmental impact of their food.

“At our farm, there are small barns whose wide doors are open all day so the chickens can take shelter if the weather turns bad.

“They live a happier and healthier life. The chickens grow slower and live longer.

“Also, the poultry processing is RSPCA-assured. The welfare of chickens in our food has always been important to us.

“Our customers obviously love their dogs, but also have a concern for the wider environment and how our products are produced.”