NEWS AND COMMENT-UK: I have just written about a 36p octopus for sale in Morrisons supermarket which caused uproar among animal advocates because of the incredibly low value that humankind places on animal life when bearing in mind that the octopus is a highly intelligent sentient creature.
In this story, Morrisons are in the news again and they are also aggravating animal advocates. Both the stories might have a minor impact on the rumblings about an American equity takeover of Morrisons. Personally, I totally disagree with American equity funds buying up British businesses like this one. They should stay British and “in-house”. We don’t want greedy equity funds buying up British assets. I digress.
In this instance, chickens raised for Morrisons supermarkets have been filmed in extreme pain due to breeding designed to make them unnaturally plump.
The Times newspaper reports that the chickens are sold as “welfare-assured”. However, they’ve been filmed with deformed legs and some of them “frantically flapped their wings before collapsing in pain”. This is according to the animal rights group Open Cages. Their work was first reported in the Daily Mirror.
They report that the average broiler chicken has, at least, doubled in weight since the 1950s. This is to meet consumer demand. It makes it harder for the chickens to support their own weight. In 2019 The Times reported similar treatment when Open Cages investigated businesses supplying Aldi, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.
In this instance the supplier to Morrisons is Cranswick. They rear their chickens for slaughter in Yaxley near Ipswich. They said that the welfare of his chickens is their first priority and they are conducting an urgent and thorough investigation.
Morrison said that they care deeply about animal welfare and demand that their suppliers set high welfare standards. They’ve asked Cranswick to investigate.
Comment: I sense that the reaction from the poultry supplier and from the supermarket are bland, hollow statements with nothing to back them up. I do not expect them to investigate this. Nothing will change. In my opinion, the welfare of animals is not a top priority. Profit is the top priority and animal welfare is some way down the list. And when animal welfare interferes with profit margins it is trampled on. It is part of humankind’s relationship with animals as highlighted in the octopus story which you can read by clicking on this link.
SOME MORE ON OCTOPUSES: