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Last year, KFC teamed up with YouTuber Niko Omilana on a short film called “Behind the Bucket.” The video, which followed Omilana on a tour of one of the fast food giant’s supplier farms, showed chickens with fresh straw, perches and reasonable space. The images, hosted on the News and Entertainment website Jo, has been viewed over a million times. But one brand says that’s far from accurate.
According to VFC Vegan Chicken Farmer, KFC misleads consumers into believing that the welfare of its farm is much better than it actually is. The brand says it made a follow-up visit to the same farm used in KFC’s promotional video and encountered a very different situation.
VFC says they saw very little straw on the floor, which was “soaked in animal feces”. He also reported bales wrapped in plastic, perches inaccessible to birds, dead chickens on the ground and a number of sick and injured animals.
A “misleading” representation
After VFC co-founder Matthew Glover visited the farm, he claimed KFC’s “Behind the Bucket” marketing campaign was “dishonest” and “totally misleading”.
He said in a statement: “People have a right to know how dirty and overcrowded these farms are; how the birds suffer and die there in the sheds; and that the garbage cans are overflowing with the carcasses of poor animals that could not survive even a few weeks in such conditions.
“We weren’t surprised to find things were so bad because that’s the daily reality of intensive chicken farming,” he added. “But that leaves us with just one question: Did the farm lie to KFC about its wellness standards, or is KFC lying to the rest of us?”
The Realities of Raising Chickens
Every week around 20 million chickens are slaughtered for their meat in the UK.
The majority of these animals are kept in cramped and unsanitary conditions. While VFC’s expose is shocking, it’s not the only survey to show the reality of the industry.
Last year, Live! discovered “abhorrent conditions” at farms supplying some of the UK’s biggest supermarket chains. For example, one expedition discovered that one of Tesco’s suppliers was cramming 30,000 birds into a single shed, leaving each animal ‘desperate for space’.
At the time, Viva!’s Head of Investigations, Lex Rigby, said: “Our insatiable desire for cheap chicken has led to an alarming rise in American-style mega-farms that prioritize profit over welfare. “
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