Chicken Out! tour to end in Axminster

PUBLISHED: 12:58 12 September 2009 | UPDATED: 00:10 16 June 2010

Throughout August and September the Chicken Out! tour has been visiting towns and cities in the UK to highlight the unacceptable practice of the intensive factory farming of chickens and to encourage consumers to choose higher welfare standards

Throughout August and September the Chicken Out! tour has been visiting towns and cities in the UK to highlight the unacceptable practice of the intensive factory farming of chickens and to encourage consumers to choose higher welfare standards when buying chicken.

The team will make their last stop at Axminster, Britain's first 'free range town', on the 17th of September where the people of Axminster are invited to the Chicken Out! market stand between 9.00am and 5.00pm to sign up to a free-range future.

The Chicken Out! campaign, led by River Cottage chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, is passionate about ending the barren conditions that around 90% of UK meat chickens are raised in to bring consumers low price meat. The tour is coordinated by Compassion in World Farming, the animal welfare charity and will have spanned 39 days to represent the short life of an intensively farmed meat chicken.

Around 700 million broiler chickens are reared in intensive systems in the UK every year. Bred to increase weight rapidly, at least 25% of them suffer from lameness and discomfort related to their excessive growth rates. Millions of broiler chickens die from heart and lung failure, before they reach their slaughter age.

To date the Chicken Out! campaign has achieved great results, which include:

· 264 MPs supporting the EDM 581 for higher welfare

standards and better labelling

· Sales of higher welfare chicken increased by 42%

between December 2007 and December 2008 due to campaigns

such as Chicken Out!

· Improved labelling and recognition of demand across

some leading supermarkets

· Over 164,000 supporters have signed up for a free range

future

"The Chicken Out! campaign aims to put an end to chickens being reared in unacceptable industrial systems. Compassion in World Farming is delighted with the achievements to date and hopes to continue raising the profile of the important issue of chicken welfare." Said Lasse Bruun, Head of Campaigns at Compassion in World Farming:

"With such huge shifts in demand and support from the public, policy makers and retailers; the government must now respond by improving standards and regulations. We thank the thousands of you who have shown your support and ask you to carry on spreading the word.


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