Supermarkets And Farm Animal Welfare “Raising the Standard”
Compassion in World Farming conducts biennial surveys of key animal welfare issues among the top 10 United Kingdom-based supermarkets to track progress of animal welfare in the industry, as these outlets have been shown to have enormous impact over farming practices.[Excerpts from Report]
- Battery cages for laying hens are to be banned across the European Union (EU) from 2012. Supermarkets have an important role to play in preventing this major welfare reform from being undermined by imports of eggs that do not meet EU welfare standards.
- The majority of chickens sold by most U.K. supermarkets are intensively reared, including over 90% of chickens sold by ASDA, The Co-operative Group, Somerfield and Tesco. Most supermarkets will still stock chickens raised at higher density than government guidelines.
- The majority of turkeys sold by U.K. supermarkets are intensively reared, including over 90% of those sold by ASDA, Sainsbury’s and Somerfield.
- The majority of ducks farmed for the major U.K. supermarkets are intensively reared, including all of those sold by ASDA and Marks & Spencer. Only Waitrose sells 100% free-range ducks. All of the geese sold by most supermarkets are free-range. Sainsbury’s is the only supermarket selling intensively reared geese.
- 70% or more of the pig meat sold by ASDA, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Somerfield and Tesco comes from the offspring of mothering sows kept in narrow farrowing crates.
- The 2005 survey reveals that serious breaches of this legislation are still commonplace. Despite a ban on routine tail-docking of piglets, 80% or more of the pig meat sold by all of the supermarkets surveyed still comes from pigs that have been tail-docked.
- Most farmed fish sold in U.K. supermarkets have been reared at stocking densities too high for good welfare and are often killed using methods that are unacceptable on welfare grounds.
Transport of Animals:
- Maximum journey times for poultry are generally set far too high, with most companies allowing journeys of up to 8 hours and in some cases 12 hours. No supermarket has set an acceptable maximum journey time for spent laying hens, with several companies allowing journeys of up to 12 hours or not specifying any maximum at all.