The majority of Canadians want food companies to end cruel factory farming practices, according to a new poll conducted by NRG Research Group.
The online poll, which surveyed 500 Canadian consumers, found that nine out of ten respondents want food companies to reduce the suffering of chickens in their supply chains even if it results in higher prices.
The poll was conducted days after an undercover investigation exposing sadistic animal abuse at several Lilydale chicken supplier farms made headlines.
The investigation found workers ripping the chickens’ legs off, hitting and kicking the animals, and performing crude sex acts with the birds.
WARNING: This video contains highly disturbing footage of chickens being grossly abused. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.
Following this investigation, 88% of survey respondents said they opposing extreme crowding in factory farms, and 90% said they support switching to chicken brands that care for the birds’ welfare.
Call for action in restaurant and farming industries
The poll was commissioned by animal rights group Mercy for Animals, and the organization is also calling on restaurant chains to adopt better practices when it comes to the meat products they use.
Many of Canada’s biggest food chains, such as Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Boston Pizza, have adopted standards to address the welfare of the animals used in their products.
However, Canada’s largest restaurant conglomerate, Cara Food’s, which operates chains such as Harvey’s and Milestones, has not committed to welfare standards.
“Chickens are the most abused animals on the planet,” said Krista Hiddema, vice president of Mercy For Animals Canada, in a release. “It’s time for Bill Gregson, president and CEO of Cara Foods, to take action to prevent the worst forms of animal abuse in Cara’s supply chain. The longer Cara Foods waits, the more the company sets itself apart as out of touch with consumer expectations and the latest science on animal welfare.”
Following the Lilydale investigation, some steps to address cruelty on farms have been taken.
One supervisor and five chicken catchers were fired from a farm in BC. Elite Services, the company in charge of the plant, has also committed to establishing an advisory committee to review and assist in enhancing our animal care practices and industry standards.