NGOs urgently demand Lidl adopts the European Chicken Commitment
Several charities and NGOs - including our members - have spoken out against Lidl, following the release of a video taken undercover that shows chickens living in atrocious conditions.
The video portrays malformed, dying and anxiety-riddled chickens being handled roughly and left to suffer and die, cramped side-by-side in a featureless barn devoid of natural light.
This house of horrors is linked to Lidl’s German chicken supplier… suggesting that despite the animal welfare goals Lidl claims to have (at least on their corporate UK website), their words simply do not match up to what the chickens in their supply chains really experience.
NGOs are asking Lidl to sign the European Chicken Commitment
In response to the footage, several charities and NGOs are standing up against the corporate, putting pressure on them to adopt the European Chicken Commitment.
The European Chicken Commitment, or Better Chicken Commitment, is a policy that outlines the minimum standards required for chickens to live healthier, happier lives. It includes maximum stocking densities, improved environmental standards and more. Further, those that take on the commitment agree to implement these standards by 2026.
So far, businesses including Itsu, IKEA and Dr. Oetker have committed to the ECC… and it’s vital that Lidl does the same, to stop millions more chickens suffering and dying in horrible circumstances.
Our member, Equalia, is one of the names lobbying most loudly against Lidl’s chicken scandal. They’re highlighting that not only are the awful conditions these chickens are exposed to terrible for their welfare, but that their poor treatment is unsustainable and unsafe, too, with practices like high chicken density potentially contributing to transmissible viruses and the AMR crisis (for example). Sign their petition to demand Lidl commits to the ECC, eliminating unnecessary risk and suffering from their European supply chain.
Animal Equality is also taking a stand. Along with 20 other European animal protection organisations, they’re insisting that Lidl adopts the ECC, so that they’re held accountable for the way in which they treat their farmed chickens. Essere Animali is taking similar steps, and recently published a press release stating:
'In the coming days, we will carry out social and street actions to inform consumers about the problems of animal suffering related to the chicken-based products present in Lidl stores. We are determined to ask the company for a concrete commitment to improve the conditions of the farmed chickens that grow on the farms of its supply chain.'
Like Equalia, there is a petition on their website asking Lidl to commit to the ECC.
We’re working for better lives for broiler chickens
As our research and this latest undercover footage demonstrates, broiler chickens in intensive systems suffer immensely, leading to a string of welfare problems. That’s why we at Eurogroup for Animals are urging for the EU Broiler Directive to be revised, and include higher welfare standards that meet the minimum requirements of the European Chicken Commitment - securing better lives for broilers at EU level. Stay tuned.