Just in from PETA:
Hello friends and animal rights colleagues. We announced big news for
chickens today. No, we didn't win our KFC Campaign, but we did win
a big part of it! After five and a half years of campaigningand
seven long months of closed-door negotiationsKFC Canada (which
operates separately from KFC elsewhere) has agreed to make sweeping
animal welfare changes that are more comprehensive than any other
restaurant or grocery chain has ever made, thus ending our KFC campaign
in Canada. According to our agreement, which you can read more about in
the Canadian Press wire story that I pasted below, KFC Canada has
committed to the following:
* Purchase 100 percent of its chickens, through a phase-in plan, from
suppliers that use controlled-atmosphere killing (CAK)the least
cruel form of poultry slaughter ever developed. This will prevent
live-scalding, sadistic abuse by workers (since with CAK, workers never
even touch live birds), broken bones, painful electric shocks, live
throat slitting and other abuses. This is the first time any company has
committed to a total phase in of CAK. What's most remarkable is that
currently, only ONE chicken slaughterhouse in Canada uses CAK, so this
will require the industry as a whole to switch over the next few years.
* Add a vegan fried "chicken" sandwich to the menu of about
65% of all the KFCs in Canada! (It'll be in stores around July, and
I hope all you Canadians will devour it.)
* Improve its animal welfare audit criteria to reduce the number of
broken bones and other injuries suffered by birds and send PETA the
detailed results of all their audits every six months
from now until
the end of time.
* Urge its suppliers to adopt better farming practices, including
improved lighting, lower stocking-density and ammonia levels, and a
phase-out of growth-promoting drugs and breeding practices that
painfully cripple chickens
* Form an animal welfare advisory panel and allow PETA to have a say
in who is on it.
This is a big day for chickens and all farmed animals. To the many of
you who have helped with this campaign over the years: CONGRATS! We
hope now that KFC Canada has done what we've been demanding for so
long, that KFC's main parent companyYUM! Brandswill follow
suit. Fingers crossed.
`Kentucky Fried Cruelty' comes to an end
Vegan `chicken' on menu as KFC Canada pledges better animal welfare to
By Colin Perkel
THE CANADIAN PRESS
TORONTO _ Following a five-year roasting by animal-rights activists, KFC
Canada is promising improved welfare for the chickens it buys for its
fast-food outlets in exchange for an end to a boycott campaign that will
continue in the U.S. and elsewhere.
The Canadian Press has learned that People for the Ethical Treatment of
Animals has agreed to call off its Canadian ``Kentucky Fried Cruelty''
campaign, which featured high-profile actress Pamela Anderson among
others, following a signed agreement with the company.
Among other things, the deal obliges KFC Canada to begin buying from
suppliers who use gas to kill their chickens painlessly, considered to
be the least cruel method of slaughter.
The company is also promising to insist on other ``animal-welfare
friendly'' measures relating to how the birds are kept, including a
maximum on crowding and phasing out non-essential growth-hormones and
Customers of the popular restaurant chain will also be able to order a
vegan ``chicken'' item, according to the deal that followed almost seven
months of at-times ``sticky'' closed-door negotiations.
``It's going to drastically reduce the suffering of chickens in
slaughterhouses and also . . . improve the living conditions for animals
while they're on the farm,'' Matt Prescott, PETA's assistant director of
corporate affairs, said from Norfolk, Va.
KFC Canada President Steve Langford said he was delighted with the
``It will be nice to put this behind us,'' Langford said. ``Our
preference is to have nothing negative attached to our brand.''
Langford said the Canadian operations, which are independent of those in
the U.S., had chosen to take the situation into its own hands and talk
to PETA about animal welfare.
``Once I got involved and we actually met face to face, we found out
that we had no differences of opinion about how animals should be
treated,'' Langford said.
``We landed in a very good place.''
PETA's campaign, which garnered international attention, has included
more than 12,000 protests at KFC restaurants and outside the homes of
company senior executives.
Demonstrators, who have included former ``Playboy'' pinup Lauren
Anderson, have burned effigies of company icon, Col. Sanders. Other
notables such as Paul McCartney, the Dalai Lama, and Chrissie Hynde have
participated in the campaign.
KFC Canada was also thrown on the defensive three years ago when PETA
released horrific video showing poultry workers torturing chickens in
the United States.
The company is owned by Priszm Income Fund, based in Vaughan, Ont.,
which operates 465 outlets across the country. The fund has been
struggling to stem a flow of red ink and shore up falling share values.
Most of the 300 independent franchisees have agreed to abide by the
agreement with PETA.
``It appears as though our campaign affected the bottom line to the
point where the company finally had enough,'' Prescott said.
``That said, I also believe that KFC in Canada is genuinely concerned
about animal welfare.''
While the anti-KFC campaign will now end in this country, PETA said it
would continue in the U.S., the U.K. and other countries. However, it is
hoping to persuade Yum Brands, which owns KFC outlets in the United
States, to follow the Canadian lead.
``With KFC Canada now doing exactly what we want KFC in the U.S. to do,
our members and activists will be even more energetic and invigorated
about going after KFC in other countries,'' Prescott said.
``All we want is for KFC worldwide to do what KFC Canada has done.''
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