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Call for Safeway to Use Less Cruel Slaughter Method

by 5m Editor
19 May 2010, at 7:48a.m.

US - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) will call on supermarket chain, Safeway, today to require controlled-atmosphere stunning, a method PETA calls a less cruel method of slaughter.

A representative of PETA – which is a Safeway shareholder – will present a resolution to executives at the company's annual meeting in Pleasanton today (19 May). PETA wants Safeway to purchase all its turkeys from suppliers that use a less cruel method of poultry slaughter called 'controlled-atmosphere killing' (CAK) by the end of 2010 and to require its chicken suppliers to switch to CAK within five years. Safeway already buys some turkey from suppliers that use CAK, but PETA wants the company to commit to taking action to fully eliminate the worst abuses that chickens and turkeys endure.

PETA Executive Vice President, Tracy Reiman, commented: "Safeway has started making animal welfare reforms, but it is time for the company to put a timeline on its commitments to improve conditions for the chickens and turkeys who end up on its shelves. Consumers care about animal welfare, so the best thing that any business can do is to take action to reduce animal abuse."

Currently, birds that are killed for Safeway are dumped onto conveyor belts and slammed upside down by their legs into metal shackles – a procedure that often results in broken wings and broken legs – according to PETA. Birds are still conscious when their throats are cut, and many are then scalded to death in defeathering tanks, the organisation alleges. All these abuses can be eliminated by using CAK, a method in which the oxygen that chickens and turkeys breathe is slowly replaced with a non-poisonous gas that puts the birds 'to sleep' while they are still in their transport crates.