As a trusted food company, one of our greatest responsibilities is to ensure the highest quality and safety standards for all our products, especially our chicken. Animal welfare is essential for high-quality food and is important to our customers, so we work hard to ensure the chickens we buy are well cared for. We hold all our suppliers in the UK and overseas to our own robust, independently audited welfare standard which means all suppliers must meet or preferably exceed UK and EU legal requirements and Red Tractor standards.
The KFC welfare standard
KFC UK and Ireland supports the commonly accepted Five Freedoms of animal welfare:
- Freedom from thirst and hunger
- Freedom from discomfort
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease
- Freedom to express normal behaviour
- Freedom from fear and distress
We will we only do business with suppliers committed to these ethical practices, which means we only buy from established, reputable companies that observe recognised humane practices, good animal husbandry and welfare standards.
Our standard covers all aspects of broiler chicken production from primary breeding to slaughter, and applies to all suppliers to KFC UK and Ireland, wherever they are based. It also covers hatcheries and feed mills.
Food and water
Our suppliers provide birds with a blended, balanced and healthy diet mainly comprised of wheat or corn (maize), soya, and occasionally fish protein. They are also fed vegetable proteins, oils, vitamins and minerals.
KFC UK and Ireland prohibits the use of soya that causes deforestation in the Amazon. The KFC audit team inspects feed mills across the world on regular basis to ensure compliance. The vast majority of our suppliers have signed the Soy Moratorium on deforestation in the Amazon, and we are working with the remainder so they can sign within a year.
The birds have constant access to fresh water throughout their lives. Automatic systems deliver the water and consumption is monitored, as this is a good indicator of health and welfare. Our standards require water quality to be regularly tested to make sure it meets human drinking water standards. Farmers must also have a back-up water supply in case of emergency.
Health and treatment
Antibiotics play an important role in maintaining bird welfare. As with all animals, their use can help birds recover when they become ill. Our suppliers use any medicines responsibly, with all treatments prescribed and strictly controlled by vets.
No chickens reared for KFC suffer any mutilations such as beak trimming.
Catching and transport
Our suppliers use both manual and automatic systems to catch birds, and in each case these are designed to minimise handling and stress. Birds are transported on purpose-built vehicles that protect them from bad weather, and drivers are trained to safeguard the welfare of the birds throughout the journey. We are committed to minimising journey times, and most are already under the four-hour maximum we aim for.
All our suppliers humanely stun birds before slaughter to prevent unnecessary suffering. This includes chicken for our Halal restaurants. All slaughter facilities are continuously supervised by vets and regularly inspected by our expert audit team. All processing and slaughter sites are approved by the British Retail Consortium or equivalent.