World Animal Protection applauds commitment by Burger King and Tim Hortons to improve chicken welfare by 2024

21 March 2017

NORTH AMERICA - Today, iconic brands Burger King and Tim Hortons announce a landmark commitment to improve the lives of chickens farmed for their restaurants in the United States and Canada by 2024 after working with World Animal Protection.

The announcement comes from Restaurant Brands International Inc. (RBI), a multinational quick service restaurant company that owns both brands, and will positively impact the welfare of millions of chickens.

Aligning with the Global Animal Partnership (GAP) standards, the commitment by RBI includes transitioning to chickens bred to have fewer health problems, more space to move around, better lighting, improved litter quality, and enrichments like perches so the chickens can express more of their natural behaviors.  The commitment also states that RBI will be working with animal welfare experts to achieve these changes by 2024.

“This is a fantastic move for better quality of life for farmed chickens” says Jonty Whittleton, Director of Animals in Farming at World Animal Protection. “This commitment will have a huge impact for chickens in North America. This move sends a powerful signal to food businesses around the world that meaningful change for chickens is not only possible but vital.”

Right now, nearly all the chickens raised for meat in the United States and Canada live in dark, barren sheds.  Bred to grow so fast their bones and hearts can’t keep up, they suffer painful lameness, sores and other health problems. In a recent global poll released by World Animal Protection, 81% of respondents across the world said they would not buy chicken from a fast-food chain if they knew it had suffered serious health problems because of living on a cramped industrial farm.

“With the success of the cage-free egg movement, North American consumers have shown that animal welfare is important to them in their food purchasing decisions,” said Jonty. “This new commitment for broiler chickens is the right thing for RBI, Burger King, and Tim Hortons to do for chickens, for their customers and for themselves. This is a brilliant start for RBI and we hope to continue to work with them as they transform the lives for chickens.”

Last year World Animal Protection launched Change for Chickens campaign urging KFC to help end the suffering of factory-grown chickens globally.

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About World Animal Protection:

World Animal Protection, formerly known as the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), is active in more than 50 countries. From our offices around the world, we work with businesses, governments, local partners and animal welfare organizations to find practical ways to prevent animal suffering worldwide. Learn more at www.worldanimalprotection.org

Notes to editors:

High-resolution photography and B-Roll is available on request

In 2016, the poll referenced was conducted in twelve countries: UK, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, USA, Canada, India, Brazil, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia and China. The poll was conducted by Kantar TNS.

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