There are two versions of the Better Chicken Commitment that food companies in Canada can adopt and work in partnership with their suppliers to meet.
All Better Chicken Commitment policies must include deadlines to implement standards. To date, companies adopting the Better Chicken Commitment have set deadlines of 3–7 years to implement the standards based on the size of their supply chains.
By [deadline], we will source only chicken certified by Global Animal Partnership (G.A.P.) and require all chickens to be processed in a manner that avoids live-dumping and live-shackling, and instead utilizes a pre-shackle, multi-step controlled-atmosphere processing system that’s widely hailed as more humane. We will publicly report progress toward this commitment on an annual basis.
We will require our chicken suppliers to meet the following requirements for 100% of our products:
- By [deadline], maintain a maximum stocking density of 30 kg/sq. meter and prohibit all forms of broiler cages.
- By [deadline], provide all birds with an improved baseline environment, including:
- At least 7.6 centimeters of friable litter covering the whole floor of the house, managed to maintain dry, friable condition and prevent caked or wet areas.
- At minimum 8 hours of continuous light (≥50 lux) and 6 hours of continuous darkness daily (<1 lux).
- One or more types of functional enrichment (such as perches, platforms, or straw bales) that multiple birds can use at any time. The enrichments must be available by 10 days old and maintained thereafter, dispersed throughout the house and available to the entire flock with 1 enrichment for every 93 sq. meters or 1 enrichment per 1,000 birds, at a minimum.
- By [deadline], process chickens in a manner that avoids pre-stun handling and instead utilizes a multi-step controlled-atmosphere processing system that induces an irreversible stun.
- By [deadline], demonstrate compliance with all standards via third-party auditing and annual public reporting on progress toward this commitment.
- By [deadline], use only BCC-approved breeds that demonstrate higher welfare outcomes.*
* Breeds that have been approved for use to meet the BCC: JA757, JACY57, JA787, JA957, JA987, JACY87, or Norfolk Black; Rowan Ranger, Rambler Ranger, Ranger Classic, Ranger Premium, or Ranger Gold; REDBRO, RedbroM; CS200, Cooks Venture Pioneer, or others that pass the breed welfare outcome assessments by either the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) or Global Animal Partnership (G.A.P.).
Adapted with permission from Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step® Animal Welfare Rating Standards for Chickens Raised for Meat, Copyright 2018 Global Animal Partnership. ↩︎