Welfarm denounces investment of French banking sector in intensive chicken farming


Welfarm denounces investment of French banking sector in intensive chicken farming

9 September 2020
Welfarm launched its national campaign revealing how the investments made by some French banks are supporting intensive broiler chicken farming systems. In the case of Crédit Agricole, the bank invested nearly 2.5 billion euros in industries that do not pay attention to the welfare of these animals. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case and other French banks are involved in this practice as reported by Welfarm.

In France, more than 80% of the 800 million broiler chickens reared every year have no access to an outdoor space during their short life. They are fattened within 35 to 40 days, and often kept in dirty and overcrowded farms, where they are likely to develop respiratory and eye diseases due to the high level of ammonia.

Welfarm is calling on French citizens to take immediate action by demanding their bank to invest only in industry and food distributors which both sign off the European Chicken Commitment (ECC) and commit to source at least 20% of their supply from open-air farms or farms with a winter garden.

In addition, Welfarm urges its Government to join the effort of Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Sweden, and to get rid of the derogation to the maximum stocking density, allowed by the EU Broiler Directive (Council Directive 1999/74/EC). Indeed, despite the fact that EU legislation sets a maximum stocking density of 33 kg/m2 (17 chickens/m²), it also authorises, subject to compliance with certain obligations, a density of 42kg/m2 (22 chickens/m²). This derogation is largely used by French producers, which raise eight out of 10 broiler chickens at the highest densities (of 33 and 42kg/m²); indeed, Welfarm points out that the EU Commission estimated that 55% of broiler chickens reared at the derogatory density in the EU are farmed in France.