12 September 2017

“Classic Misdirection in National Chicken Council’s Assurance Standards”

Chickens on a floor crammed together
Chicken house in Delaware USA. Photo by David Harp

Canadians for Ethical Treatment of Farmed Animals (CETFA) published a reality check on September 8, 2017. Classic Misdirection in National Chicken Council’s Assurance Standards offers a succinct assessment by Canadian farmed animal investigator and artist, Twyla Francois (www.twylafrancois.com), of the National Chicken Council’s “4 Chicken Guarantees.”

Quick Background

Every so often, the National Chicken Council, the trade lobby for the U.S. chicken industry, publishes a set of “welfare guidelines” (see Contamination and Cruelty in the Chicken Industry) to lull the public about the condition and treatment of the chickens the industry calls “broilers” – specifically, baby chicks of both sexes bred to be slaughtered at 6 weeks old or younger. What distinguishes these chickens is that, since the 1940s, they’ve been manipulated to grow abnormally fast to a misshapen size and weight that, within a few weeks, turns them into a crippled, tortured mass of breast musculature piled on a body ravaged with practically every disease imaginable.

These chickens are the 98 percent of land animals slaughtered for food each year in the United States. Of the roughly 10 billion U.S. land animals slaughtered annually, 8 billion or 9 billion are chickens. In Canada, the number is 640 million a year. These “meat-type” chickens are raised in buildings packed with feces, poisons, pathogens, and sick, dead, and dying birds. Canadian poultry welfare researcher Ian Duncan said in 2001, “These birds are all extremely unfit. There is also the interaction between their unfitness and their poor environment.”

What Can I Do?

  • Quit eating all chicken products immediately and forever and get everyone you know to join you. If you’re reading this, you’re probably already chicken-free, but if not, today’s the day. Give a cluck. Go vegan. It’s that simple. See: UPC Vegan Recipes.
  • Contact the National Chicken Council and call their bluff: National Chicken Council.
  • Basic facts about “broiler” chicken production: Chickens.


Thank You for Taking a Big Step for the Birds.

Sugar the hen laying in the shade.
UPC sanctuary chicken, Sugar, says, “Thank you for being kind to me.”