In its first-ever Chicken Welfare Report, fast-food giant KFC has admitted that more than a third of birds from its suppliers in the UK and Ireland suffer from a painful inflammation known as footpad dermatitis.
The condition is characterised by lesions on the feet of poultry, that in the worst cases may make the birds unable to walk properly. In the report that has been lauded for its transparency says that the number of birds affected has fallen from more than half to 35% in just four years and that KFC's top suppliers were achieving levels of 15% or below.
In addition to this, 1 in 10 KFC chickens also suffer hock burn caused by ammonia from the waste of other birds. To combat these problems, the food chain is planning to reduce stocking density on its supplier farms and wants to transition more of its 34 suppliers to slower-growing breeds, which are less prone to disease and injury.