Lidl claims to be one of the leading supermarkets for animal welfare. However, to date, Lidl is among the companies that have not yet committed to signing the European Chicken Commitment, which would guarantee higher welfare standards to chickens raised by their suppliers, saving them the suffering inherent to intensive farming.
Watch our latest investigation. This shocking footage has been filmed on two farms of a Lidl supplier in Italy.
As one of the leading large-scale distributor in Italy, Lidl has the power to help put an end to the suffering of millions of chickens bred in the supply chains of its suppliers. By signing the European Chicken Commitment, Lidl could help improve the welfare of chickens on the farms of its supply chain.
Take action to stop this cruelty
Leading European animal protection organisations have developed the demands of the European Chicken Commitment (ECC), with the goal of defining a new minimum standard for the welfare of chickens. The aim is to put an end to the suffering that these animals undergo in intensive farms due to high stocking density and genetic selection, and to improve their living conditions. With the implementation of the ECC, it is estimated that two thirds of the worst suffering can be avoided.
Over 500 companies from all over the world have already joined and signed the ECC, including the following brands in Italy: Eataly, Carrefour Italia, and Cortilia. We ask Lidl to do the same.
What is a broiler chicken?
Commonly referred to as “broilers”, they are genetically selected chickens reared for meat. Numerically, they are the land animals with the highest levels of exploitation in the meat industry: in 2020 alone, around 70 billion chickens were slaughtered around the world, over 500 million of which were in Italy alone.
The most commonly reared chickens are “fast growing”, meaning they reach the ideal slaughter weight in just 30-40 days — when they are practically still chicks.
The issues related to chicken farming:
The chickens are raised in structures that can contain up to 30,000 animals with a stocking density of up to 20 chickens per m². This high stocking density leads to a reduction in musculoskeletal activity, as well as the expression of behaviours typical for the species, such as scratching the ground and stretching.
Rapid growth has damaging effects on chicken health and leads to painful injuries and deformities. Animals are more prone to a high incidence of muscular, skeletal, respiratory, and cardiovascular problems, which can cause premature death. The disproportion between musculature and bone structure severely limits their ability to move.
INJURED AND SICK
Many chickens have chest burns caused by prolonged contact with the ammonia-rich litter containing manure. Others have neurological disorders, such as unnatural twisting of the neck, due to infections or vitamin deficiency. There are dozens of animals dying on farms every day due to diseases or leg problems.
Open Wing Alliance is an international coalition that brings together over 80 organisations globally that fight to end the cruellest practices of the poultry industry and reduce the suffering of these animals.
The requests are addressed to supermarkets, catering companies, and producers, and are aimed at reducing the suffering of broilers through the adoption of company policies that improve the living conditions of these animals on farms. This is done through the European Chicken Commitment (ECC): a commitment that contains a number of requirements to improve the conditions of broilers on intensive farms.
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