Calling on KFC to improve conditions at its chicken slaughterhouses, members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals attended an annual shareholders meeting with Yum Brands executives.
The animal rights group owns stock in the fast food company in order to have a voice in shaping its policies and is allowed to have two representatives at shareholders meetings.
PETA spokesperson Lindsay Rajt says KFC continues to ignore recommendations from its own animal welfare advisors to change its practice of slaughtering chickens.
“KFC really is lagging behind other restaurant chains who have already improved animal welfare and have adopted purchasing preferences for this less cruel slaughter method,” she says. “We’re asking KFC just to step up to the plate and to take responsibility for animal welfare within their chain.”
In an undercover documentary, PETA activists filmed KFC slaughterhouse workers tearing the heads off live birds, spitting tobacco in birds’ eyes and spray painting birds’ faces. The group wants the fast food restaurant to switch to more modern and less cruel slaughter methods that would eliminate the abuses that chickens endure.
In the past year, other restaurant chains such as Quiznos, Subway and Ruby Tuesday have implemented more humane procedures.
“The bottom line is that there is no justifying a life of constant agony for any animal when it can be easily prevented,” says Rajt. “In some ways chickens are actually smarter than dogs or cats. And they certainly have the same capacity to feel pain like all animals do.”