California Pizza Kitchen has announced plans to eliminate fast-growth chickens from its U.S. supply chain by 2024, joining a growing list of restaurant chains to enact such policies. The new policy will affect all chicken products served at the chain's more than 200 California Pizza Kitchen locations nationwide.
The new policy was announced following a week-long campaign by The Humane League against California Pizza Kitchen, which included strategic social media efforts on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. California Pizza Kitchen responded to the campaign with an updated chicken welfare policy, sent to The Humane League on February 17.
The new policy requires that all California Pizza Kitchen chicken suppliers commit to breeding only slower growing species of chickens, as per Global Animal Partnership standards. The new policy also requires the enhancement the living environment and stocking density of poultry, as well as the elimination of live-shackling slaughter, which involves electrocuting shackled chickens.
“California Pizza Kitchen’s decision to implement these sweeping welfare reforms will greatly reduce the suffering of chickens in its supply chain,” said David Coman-Hidy, Executive Director of The Humane League, following the restaurant chain's announcement.
“As the momentum continues to grow for companies to address the extreme abuses in chicken factory farming, The Humane League anticipates that policies identical to California Pizza Kitchen’s will be the new standard for a variety of food companies nationwide.”
Fast-growth chickens are bred to grow six times as fast as chickens do naturally, forcing them to reach a weight of nine pounds by the time of their slaughter, at 42 days old.
California Pizza Kitchen joins Starbucks, Shake Shack, and Panera in the effort to eradicate fast-growth chickens from the supply chain, in part due to efforts from The Humane League. The Humane League is currently lobbying Walmart to raise treatment standards at their Mexican chicken farms.
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