White striping disease found in 85% UK supermarket chicken


White striping disease found in 85% UK supermarket chicken

7 September 2020
An investigative report by the Humane League UK has uncovered that eight in ten samples of standard chicken in the UK showed white striping disease.

Particularly badly ranked supermarket discounters Asda, Aldi, and Lidl with white striping present in 94%, 92%, and 92% of their standard own-brand chicken respectively. In comparison, just 11% of organic and free-range chicken presented the disease.

White striping is a muscle disease linked with rapid growth and development and appears as thin white lines that run across the poultry, mostly impacting the breast area. It is, however, not only a visual representation of the cruel rearing conditions chicken suffer, but also impacts the quality of the products: The disease lowers the nutritional value of chicken as it increases the fat content; by as much as 224 percent as some studies have shown. Furthermore, it has been shown that the disease can reduce protein content by up to nine percent and increase collagen by ten percent. 

Yet again, this new study highlights the importance and urgency of supermarkets to move away from fast-growing breeds of chicken. One way to do so is by adopting the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC), which bans this form of breeding. Animal welfare advocates call on UK supermarkets to commit for better welfare and public health.