The RSPCA is celebrating news that Waitrose is the latest company to commit to a significant improvement in meat chicken welfare. Over a billion meat chickens are reared each year in the UK, more than any other land animal, and a vast majority are kept in conditions which the RSPCA thinks are unacceptable.

Waitrose joins Marks & Spencer, Nestlé and Knorr, who have also signed up to the Better Chicken Commitment, pledging to meet a number of key requirements to improve the welfare of meat chickens across their entire supply.

The requirements for the commitment have been drawn up by a partnership of animal protection groups, including the RSPCA. The RSPCA is now urging other supermarkets to follow suit and commit to raising chickens’ welfare standards across their supply chain.

Meanwhile, a petition set up by a young animal lover calling for supermarket Tesco to commit to improving chicken welfare has reached more than 170,000 signatures in less than a month. Georgina Holding set up a change.org petition, which has been signed by nearly 175,000 people.

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