I launched the national Chicken Out! campaign because I feel so strongly about the welfare of our chickens. My River Cottage TV series on Channel 4 has highlighted the unacceptable conditions in which most table birds are reared and I’m putting pressure on the UK industry to raise their standards.
I believe that conditions in which most chickens in the UK are reared are unacceptable. Stocking densities are too high. Severe leg problems - associated with rapid weight gain and restricted movement - are common. The birds are deprived of essential stimulation and unable to express their natural behaviour. Under these conditions, decent welfare standards - and British farmers have some of the highest in Europe - are impossible to achieve.
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