PETA’s proposal asks Yum! Brands to follow the science-based guidelines put together by KFC’s advisors, which the company has thus far totally ignored, to ensure that the more than 850 million chickens raised for its buckets each year aren’t abused in the worst possible ways. Right now, the chickens killed for KFC suffer broken wings and legs, have their throats slit, and are scalded to death in defeathering tanks—all while they are still conscious and able to feel pain.
KFC’s former animal welfare advisors have all quit over frustration with the company, and now all Yum! Brands shareholders will be presented with the facts: KFC has continually ignored its advisors’ recommendations and allows its suppliers to abuse birds in ways that would be illegal if dogs, cats, pigs, or cows were the victims.
2006 Yum! Brands, Inc., Shareholder Resolution re Humane Treatment of Chickens
WHEREAS Yum! Brands’ Web site proclaims that the KFC Animal Welfare Advisory Council (AWAC) “has been a key factor in formulating our animal welfare program”; and
WHEREAS, when, in March 2005, KFC asked members of its AWAC—including Dr. Ian Duncan, North America’s leading expert on poultry welfare—to make recommendations to improve the welfare of the more than 850 million birds sold by KFC each year, the advisors made their recommendations, but KFC refused to promise action on a single one; and
WHEREAS Dr. Duncan has since resigned from the AWAC, joining four other advisors who have also resigned, having told the Guelph Mercury (26 Oct. 2005) that “[p]rogress was extremely slow, which is why I resigned. It was always going to be happening later. They just put off actually creating standards. … I suspect that upper management didn’t really think that animal welfare was important”; and
WHEREAS Dr. Adele Douglass, one of the former advisors, was quoted in the Chicago Tribune (6 Aug. 2005) as saying: “[KFC] never had any meetings. They never asked any advice, and then they touted to the press that they had this animal-welfare advisory committee. I felt like I was being used”; and
WHEREAS scientists now know that chickens are social, intelligent animals who rank higher on cognition tests than do dogs and cats; and
WHEREAS chickens killed for KFC are treated in ways that would warrant felony cruelty-to-animals charges if they were a different species—they are bred and drugged so that they can’t even walk and are gathered for transport to slaughter in a way that routinely breaks their wings and legs, and they usually have their throats slit or are scalded to death while they are still conscious; and
WHEREAS implementing the standards recommended by KFC’s former advisors (including requiring that suppliers phase in the USDA-approved controlled-atmosphere killing method of poultry slaughter—the most humane method of poultry slaughter available—which will improve worker safety and product quality and which is touted by Hormel and being implemented by McDonald’s and Burger King, and requiring that suppliers work with breeders to ensure that chickens are bred for increased leg strength and decreased aggression rather than simply for growth, which results in painful and crippling injuries) would significantly decrease animals’ suffering and increase product quality and profits, thus protecting Yum! Brands and KFC’s reputation and its shareholders’ investments;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that shareholders of Yum! Brands request that the Board of Directors issue a report to shareholders by October 2006, prepared at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information, on the feasibility of Yum! Brands’ requiring that all chickens served in KFC restaurants be raised according to the recommendations made by Drs. Grandin, Douglass, and Duncan on March 11, 2005.