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The Canadian aspect of PETA's international campaign against KFC—which was launched in January 2003—ended this week when Vaughan, Ontario-based Priszm Income Fund, acting on behalf of the franchisees of KFC in Canada, pledged to dramatically improve its animal welfare standards and the treatment of chickens purchased for its restaurants. According to KFC Canada's new plan, the company will purchase 100 percent of its chickens, through a phase-in plan, from suppliers that use controlled-atmosphere killing (CAK)—the least cruel form of poultry slaughter ever developed. The company will also add a vegan faux-chicken item to the menu of all 461 Priszm-owned KFC restaurants and improve its animal welfare audit criteria to reduce the number of broken bones and other injuries suffered by birds. Another change is that KFC Canada will urge its suppliers to adopt better practices, including improved lighting, lower stocking-density and ammonia levels, and a phase-out of growth-promoting drugs and breeding practices that painfully cripple chickens. The Company will also form an animal welfare advisory panel.
The agreement between PETA and KFC Canada follows nearly seven months of closed-door negotiations, which included meetings in Toronto and at PETA's headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia.