Animal cruelty campaigners protest against ‘cruel’ supermarket chicken farming outside Camden Morrisons

Protestors gathered outside a North London Morrisons today as part of a campaign against “cruel” farming practices used to supply the supermarket. Campaigners from The Human League UK and Open Cages who founded the #morrisonsmisery campaign took to a number of Morrison’s supermarkets from 12pm.

Dressed in Morrisons butcher outfits, protestors held signs showing the “fast-growing” chickens, describing them as “chemically burned”, “piled up” and “suffering”. Three protests were held this afternoon at Morrisons in Camden, Wimbledon and Sutton.

Matthew Chalmers, 25, told MyLondon: “The Morrisons campaign started off because although selling these fast growing chickens is rife in the supermarket industry, we thought Morrisons were particularly hypocritical.”

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Campaigners are protesting against “cruel” practices by the animal farms

He explained: “They made commitments towards sourcing 100 per cent of their eggs to being free range, so they claim to care about animal welfare, but here they are sourcing these fast-growing birds who suffer from an absolute slew of health problems.”

Fast growing chickens are artificially bred animals (dubbed ‘FrankenChickens’ by campaigners), who are bred to grow as quickly and largely as possible – 400 per cent faster than chickens in the 1950s. Matthew said: “They reach slaughter weight in 35 days, so they’re basically still a child when they’re killed.

“Essentially why this is a problem is that it causes them lots of problems. They can have heart attacks, they struggle to walk which means they can’t access their food which means they get trampled on, other birds peck them, meaning they on their waist, and that burns them.”

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Campaigners from the group held signs saying “piled up” and “deformed”

He noted: “To give you an analogy, they grow so quickly that the human equivalent would be a baby growing to the size of a fully grown tiger in the space of two months. They’re genetic freaks. That’s why we call them FrankenChickens.”

Eight months ago, Open Cages revealed video footage which appeared to show fast growing chickens in terrible conditions on a farm in East Anglia, which they say is one of Morrisons suppliers.

Matthew said that only Marks and Spencer and Waitrose are the only supermarkets who have signed onto the campaigners’ Better Chicken Commitment – which caters for more space, more humane slaughter methods, and changes the breed to a slow-growing breed, which doesn’t suffer from nearly as many health problems.

Morrisons told MyLondon the supermarket commits to offering a range of chicken adhering to all 9 of the Better Chicken Commitment standards.

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Some of the campaigners were “silent protestors” who vowed not to speak throughout

Along with the two supermarkets, Subway and KFC have also made a public commitment to phase out the practice. Open Cages say that 78 per cent of Brits oppose the use of factory farming practices which cause animals to experience pain or suffering.

Matthew said: “On a more positive note, this is a glorious opportunity for Morrisons to stand out from the crowd and be a pioneer in animal welfare. In this country we like to say that animal welfare is a British value. We’re a nation of animal lovers, and this is a chance to make that more of a reality.”

Find out more about the campaign here .

A Morrisons spokeswoman said: “We care deeply about animal welfare. All our regular chicken is raised to above Red Tractor standards; we are also the only retailer in Europe to ask our fresh chicken suppliers to require chicken to be born into the barn in which it will be raised by 2025.

“80 per cent of our fresh chicken meets this standard already. We also actively monitor for any malpractice in our supply chain; we will never tolerate it or look the other way and if we ever find it, we will act swiftly and decisively.”

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https://www.mylondon.news/news/north-london-news/animal-cruelty-campaigners-protest-against-23833340

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