THE RSPCA has said it will provide evidence at a judicial review challenging the UK government on the legality of using fast-growing breeds in broiler farming.

The Humane League will bring the review, which is scheduled to be heard at the High Court on 3 and 4 May this year.

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The RSPCA has long campaigned for slower-growing broilers, saying research it has conducted shows conventional breeds have poorer health outcomes, such as higher mortality rates.

The Humane League’s judicial review was granted in September 2022. It said the RSPCA giving evidence was a “huge moment for the case”.

Public interest

At the time, appeal Court judge Lord Justice Singh stated that a full hearing of the facts regarding faster-growing chickens was in the public interest.

The charities will argue that rearing faster-growing breeds of broilers is in breach of the Welfare of Farmed Animals Regulations 2007, which state: “Animals may only be kept for farming purposes if it can reasonably be expected, on the basis of their genotype or phenotype, that they can be kept without any detrimental effect on their health or welfare.”

The Humane League will be represented by Advocates for Animals, a law firm specialising in animal law.

The RSPCA supports the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC), which encourages supermarkets and retailers to commit to raising welfare standards across their supply chain of chicken by 2026.