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Subway Agrees To End The Cruellest Treatment Of Chickens

16/08/2021 Updated: 19/08/2021

The world’s largest fast food chain, Subway, has pledged to end some of the very cruellest treatment that chickens raised for meat suffer in its supply chain. The sandwich restaurant’s new animal welfare policy, which will apply across the entirety of its European operations, comes after a tireless campaign by 22 animal advocacy organisations in 16 different countries.

Subway now joins the growing list of companies – over 400 worldwide – that have signed up to the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC). Amongst other key welfare criteria, the BCC requires companies to stop using chickens who have been selectively bred to grow to a unnaturally large size at an extremely fast rate. These birds often suffer from painful injuries and illnesses as a result.

Along with other members of the Open Wing Alliance, Animal Equality played a major role in this campaign. Our campaigners visited Subway’s European headquarters in Amsterdam to take part in a demonstration and encourage the company’s leadership team to meet with us, we held peaceful protests in Italy and Spain, and we mobilised our team of Animal Protectors in the UK and beyond to take part in highly impactful digital actions.

Animal Equality protest in Verona, Italy

Chickens raised for meat are among the most abused animals on the planet – confined in overcrowded sheds, they’re forced to live in their own waste and are unable to carry out many of their natural behaviours due to the brutal conditions. While this policy will not end their suffering, it is a positive step forward.

As of June 2021, Subway has approximately 37,500 locations in over 100 countries, meaning that this commitment will impact the lives of millions of chickens who are trapped on factory farms. It also sets a strong precedent for other fast food brands to follow – such as McDonald’s, which is still refusing to end the worst abuses for the chickens suffering in its supply chain.

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