Today Compassion launched a film and report following an investigation into the huge industry of chicken farming in the US state of Georgia.
Georgia is the biggest chicken producing state in the biggest producing country in the world, raising more than 1.4 billion chickens per year. The vast majority of which are kept in factory farms.
The report reveals that Georgia's factory chicken farms:
- Produce enormous volumes of excrement, which washes into waterways
- Annually generate about 20% of the US total poultry litter
- Have overbred the chickens to grow so large, so quickly, it has resulted in devastating leg disorders and heart and lung problems
- Is having a negative impact on human health in the form of foodborne illnesses and antibiotic resistance
Compassion founded the group Georgians for Pastured Poultry, which is made up of Georgia-based farmers, chefs, animal welfare advocates, environmentalists, and health professionals, to promote pasture-raised chicken as an alternative to the harmful chicken factories that dominate the state's landscape.
The film was aired to almost 100 food retailers, food writers, chefs, legislators and media at an event in Atlanta, Georgia this afternoon.
Leah Garcés, USA Director of Compassion says: "For the first time we know the price Georgia is paying to be the largest producer of chicken meat in the country. The cost to people, to our environment and to the welfare of chickens is simply too great. We want a future for Georgia that is better than the future that chicken factory farming has to offer. To that end, we have formed Georgians for Pastured Poultry (GPP)."
Georgians for Pastured Poultry consists of:
- Compassion in World Farming
- Darby Farms
- Fellowship of Southern Farmers, Artisans & Chefs
- Georgia Organics
- Sierra Club
- White Oak Pastures