Animal welfare

Animal welfare protesters gather outside Devizes Morrisons to campaign against ‘Frankenchickens’

Animal welfare protesters gathered outside a branch of Morrisons in Wiltshire to campaign against so-called ‘Frankenchickens’. Open Cages claims the supermarket giant sells a breed of chickens that “suffer”.

On Saturday afternoon (April 30), the chain’s Devizes store was one of 22 stores across the UK where protesters gathered. Dressed as butchers, they held up signs showing what they say are badly treated birds.

Activists claim the so-called ‘frankenchickens’ are growing up to 400% faster than expected. They claim that hundreds of companies have already pledged not to stockpile them.

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Morrisons, however, defended his position on animal welfare. A spokesperson said the store is in line with Tesco and Sainsburys – pledging to offer a range of chickens that meet all nine Better Chicken Commitment standards.

The company has also introduced a range of chickens raised to higher welfare standards, according to Open Cages. But protesters say they want to see more done.

Open caged protesters in Wiltshire

Open Cages chief executive Connor Jackson said: “The Morrisons say they never tolerate malpractice in their supply chain. But up to 30% of Frankenchickens can barely walk because of lameness. and painful deformities.Millions of these monstrous birds are dying of heart attacks because they can’t handle growing 400% faster than normal, millions more have their necks snapped just to put them out of their misery.

“Let’s remember what we’re asking: we just want Morrisons to follow the hundreds of other companies like M&S, Waitrose, KFC and Subway who have already committed to removing Frankenchickens from the shelves. These practices are opposed by the vast majority of The British public and Morrisons could make that promise overnight if they spent as much time on their welfare standards as playing PR games.

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

“80% of our fresh chicken already meets this standard. We also actively monitor any bad practice in our supply chain; we will never tolerate it or look away and if we ever find it, we will act quickly and decisively.