Animal Welfare Protest At Morrisons’ Headquarters As Charity Condemns “Genetic Engineering” Of Chickens

News provided by Open Cages on Wednesday 4th May 2022

Animal Welfare Protest At Morrisons’ Headquarters As Charity Condemns “Genetic Engineering” Of Chickens

Today, campaigners protested at Morrisons’ headquarters in Bradford accompanied by a large “Frankenchicken” mascot with missing feathers and bloodshot eyes.

Campaigners distributed information to staff members about the company's chicken welfare policies. Decision makers were invited to join the campaigners and have an “honest conversation” about their decision to continue to stock its shelves with genetically engineered “Frankenchickens” whilst hundreds of companies commit to phasing them out.

The demonstration follows protests at Morrisons' stores across the country last weekend, as campaigners revealed images from the supermarket's chicken supplier farms to customers.

Companies such as M&S, Waitrose, KFC and Subway have signed the DEFRA and RSPCA-backed Better Chicken Commitment which requires the use of slower growing birds raised in significantly less crowded conditions. Sainsbury's recently pledged to stop sourcing chickens from overcrowded conditions for all own-brand meat by 2023.

Commenting on the recent protests, Morrisons defended its animal welfare record: "All our regular chicken is raised to above Red Tractor standards. We are also the only retailer in Europe to ask our fresh chicken suppliers to require chicken to be born into the barn in which it will be raised by 2025. 80 per cent of our fresh chicken meets this standard already.”

"We also actively monitor for any malpractice in our supply chain, we will never tolerate it or look the other way and if we ever find it, we will act swiftly and decisively."

Connor Jackson, CEO of animal welfare charity Open Cages has hit back at the supermarket’s “misleading” claims:

“To the informed, these claims give the misleading impression that Morrisons is taking appropriate action. Lameness, deformities, organ failure... This is what happens even if everything goes "right" on an intensive chicken farm. It has nothing to do with malpractice. And boasting that your Frankenchickens are born inside the barns is like an oil giant boasting about pumping oil out of the earth with eco-friendly tools. Sadly, it totally ignores the main issue."

"What consumers need to know is that the cheap chicken you buy from Morrisons comes from a genetically engineered bird who – regardless of how he began his life – has a good chance of spending his final days in agony, collapsing in his own waste.”

“And it does not need to be this way. So if Morrisons isn't ready to follow the hundreds of companies who are turning their back on these cruel practices, then they should be honest with the public about why that is. We're waiting for that answer."

Last year, a campaign called #MorrisonsMisery was launched highlighting Morrisons' "poor" chicken welfare standards and refusal to sign the Better Chicken Commitment. Open Cages then filmed ‘monstrous and deformed' chickens collapsing in their own waste on four farms supplying Morrisons’ welfare-assured Butcher’s on Market Street meat label.

Over 300 companies across the UK and Europe have signed the ‘Better Chicken Commitment’ (BCC) which is a set of science-backed improved welfare standards prohibiting fast growing chickens and crowded conditions as a baseline. In February, Defra endorsed the policy and pledged to “prioritise” its implementation through subsidies.

Nearly a quarter of a million people have signed Chris Packham’s petition asking retailers like Morrisons to sign up. A recent YouGov poll found that 78% of Brits oppose the use of farming practices which cause animals to suffer in order to produce cheap food. A majority strongly opposes them.


Photos from the protest at Morrisons' headquarters: here.

Photos from Morrisons’ chicken farms: here.
Photos from the April 30th protests: here.

Credit: Open Cages

Contact: Connor Jackson, CEO & Founder, Open Cages,


Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Open Cages, on Wednesday 4 May, 2022. For more information subscribe and follow

Factory Farming Animal Farming Intensive Farming Better Chicken Commitment Animal Welfare Animal Cruelty Frankenchicken Morrisons Chicken Environment & Nature Farming & Animals Food & Drink
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