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A deep dive into chicken labels: Criteria

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REPORT BY CRITERIA
   -Prudent antibiotic use
   -Prohibits growth hormones
   -Prohibits animal byproducts in the diet
   -GMOs in feed
   -Prohibits synthetic pesticides/ fertilizers in feed production
   -Prohibits synthetic amino acids
   -Limit on rapid weight gain
   -Outdoor access
   -Indoor enrichment
   -Indoor space
   -Air quality
   -Artificial light and darkness
   -Catching and crating
   -Transport time limit
   -Natural v. dim light
   -Slaughter treatment
   -Slaughter line speed
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FULL REPORT: ALL CRITERIA AND LABELS

Catching and crating

When chickens have reached market weight, the birds are typically caught by crews of "catchers" - workers who catch the birds and load them into crates for transport to the slaughterhouse. Workers typically catch the birds by the leg and carry them upside down, with up to five birds in each hand. Birds can sustain injuries during the catching process, and an estimated 270 million birds each year suffer broken or dislocated wings.

Catching and crating: Criteria key

industry baseline

Standards do not allow workers to carry birds by the neck, head or wings. Workers can carry up to 4 birds per hand upside down by one or both legs.

Standards do not allow workers to carry birds by the neck, head, wings or by one leg. Workers can carry up to 3 birds per hand.

Standards prohibit carrying birds upside down. Birds must be caught by both hands and carried upright, or caught by a catching machine, which reduces stress and injury.



Catching and crating: How labels stack up against criteria

CHICKEN LABELS REPORT - Criteria: Catching and crating
Label Catching and crating How label stacks up against criteria
Conventional

American Humane Association Certified

Up to three birds per hand, held upside down by both legs, or by the body for no more than 20 seconds
Animal Welfare Approved

birds must be carried round the body or by both legs, but there is no limit to the number of chickens per hand
Certified Humane

Catchers are encouraged to carry one bird at a time in an upright position, but are allowed to carry up to three birds per hand, held upside down by both legs
Certified Naturally Grown

Demeter Biodynamic

no clear standards for catching and crating; animals must be "handled in a way that reduces fear and stress"
Food Alliance

producers are encouraged to carry birds upright or use a catching machine, but there are no requirements for catching and crating
Free Range

GAP Step 1

up to four chickens per hand, chickens can be held by one leg although this practice is discouraged
GAP Step 2

up to four chickens per hand, chickens can be held by one leg although this practice is discouraged
GAP Step 3

up to four chickens per hand, chickens can be held by one leg although this practice is discouraged
GAP Step 4

up to four chickens per hand, chickens can be held by one leg although this practice is discouraged
GAP Step 5

no more than 2 chickens per hand, held upside down and carried by both legs
GAP Step 5+

chickens must be carried with both hands and carried upright
Natural or All Natural

No antibiotics administered

USDA Organic

Vegetarian Fed or No Animal By-Products

Humanely Raised

No growth hormones

Kosher

USDA Process Verified - Never Ever 3

USDA Process Verified - Humanely Raised (National Chicken Council Welfare Standards)

birds cannot be carried by neck or wings by can be carried by one leg; up to five birds in each hand
Non-GMO Project Verified


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