Perdue to kill its chickens more gently
Perdue Farms, known for its namesake chicken brand, is rolling out gentler slaughter practices as part of its efforts to reduce trauma and discomfort for birds.
The company will increase its use of gas stunning, according to the first progress report on animal care released by Perdue on Monday. The process exposes birds to a gas mixture that renders them insensible to pain or distress before slaughter.
It’s the latest step in the poultry industry’s campaign to respond to consumers, especially millennials, who are increasingly concerned about animal welfare.
The Salisbury, Md.-based company, the fourth-largest U.S. chicken producer, is pushing for better poultry care, improved relationships with its contract farmers and transparency with consumers, according to Chairman Jim Perdue.
“There are a lot of reasons for us to move forward on better care,” Perdue, whose grandfather started the company in 1920, said in a telephone interview. “It’s good for the chicken, farmer and the meat.”
The company will introduce the gas stunning at a Delaware chicken plant in November and gradually implement it in all its facilities. The process is already used at its turkey plant in Indiana.