Mr. John Dasburg,|
Burger King Corporation
17777 Old Cutler Road
Miami, FL 33157
Dear Mr. Dasburg:
On behalf of United Poultry Concerns, thank you for your July 12
letter from Consumer Response Representative Eve Taylor in response
to my letter of January 18, 2001, urging Burger King to meet and
exceed the welfare standards set by McDonald's in 2000.
United Poultry Concerns is pleased to acknowledge Burger King's
initial steps to improve welfare standards for birds and other
animals owned by Burger King's suppliers. Your decision to require
that cage size for laying hens be increased from 48 to 75 square
inches per bird, enabling each hen to be able to stand fully upright
for the first time ever, will benefit over 300 million hens in the
U.S. and Canada each year. Burger King's prohibition of forced
molting of laying hens by means of food and water deprivation is
equally commendable. However, we urge Burger King not just to
"discourage" the cruel practice of debeaking, but to prohibit the
Burger King said the company will begin announced audits of livestock
and poultry slaughtering facilities this fall, and will complete them
by June 30, 2001. Does this mean that Burger King will audit "spent
hen" slaughter plants as well as "broiler" chicken slaughter plants?
We would appreciate a response to this question.
While we thank you for petitioning the U.S. Department of Agriculture
to actively and fully enforce the U.S. Humane Methods of Slaughter
Act, we must remind you that 98 percent of animals slaughtered in
USDA establishments are birds, the majority of whom are chickens.
Over 8 billion chickens are being slaughtered each year in the U.S.
without federal protection. These birds are not stunned (rendered
unconscious), but are slaughtered fully conscious after been tortured
with paralyzing electric shocks administered through an electrified
waterbath. They are intentionally kept alive through the entire
slaughtering process. We therefore must ask what exactly your audit
of your suppliers' chicken slaughter plants will consist of with
respect to welfare criteria? Once again, thank you for your decision
to improve the lives of millions of birds and other animals by
adopting animal handling and welfare guidelines. However, we do need
to ask how you plan to apply these guidelines in chicken slaughter
plants and whether your audits will include spent hen facilities. I
look forward to your response.
Karen Davis, PhD
United Poultry Concerns. July 20, 2001
United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
(Letter to Burger King from United Poultry Concerns)