Danpo, the largest poultry producer in Denmark, is taking a big step towards better animal welfare by eliminating its use of the controversial, fast-growing chicken breed Ross 308. In doing so it will become the largest producer of slower growing chicken breeds in Northern Europe.
The broiler chicken breed Ross 308 is one of the fastest growing breeds on the market. The fast-growing nature of the breed leads to significant welfare problems for chickens, such as difficulties walking, lameness, organ failure and breathing problems. This is why animal protection organisations around the world have for years been calling for businesses to stop using this breed.
Now, leading chicken producer Danpo has announced that it will be phasing out Ross 308 by late 2021. Instead a slower growing chicken, Ranger Gold, which has better health and animal welfare outcomes will be used. With an annual production of nearly 50 million chickens, this new initiative will make Danpo the biggest producer of slower growing chickens in Northern Europe. This could have a big knock-on effect on the whole chicken industry in Europe, since Danpo is able to export to most European countries.