McDonald’s, the second largest chicken buyer in the nation after Kentucky Fried Chicken, has revealed its plans to serve only humanely raised and slaughtered chickens by 2024.
McDonald’s has run into trouble with animal advocates and consumers before in 2015, when a violent and disturbing video taken at T&S Farm, a contractor for Tyson Foods, went viral online. The video shows how cruelly the chickens were being treated, such as being beat with sticks with large spikes attached to the end, before being made into McDonald’s famous Chicken McNuggets. McDonald’s acted swiftly and terminated their contract with T&S Farm, but are still working on trying to revamp their image and gain favorability again from the public.
According to Newsweek, the new requirements for the chickens from all of McDonald’s suppliers, which includes Tyson Foods Inc. and Cargill, will include “access to perches, clean coops, peaceful suffocation instead of live slaughter and pen-to-plate monitoring to make sure birds aren’t injured during their growth.”
McDonald’s revealed in a statement, “As one of the world’s largest food companies, we aim to use our scale as an opportunity to achieve impactful change on key societal issues, and we will continue to collaborate with our suppliers, franchisees and employees to achieve real impact.”
Although adjusting to the new standards will boost operating costs for producers, according to the same Newsweek article, McDonald’s will not raise its prices for consumers. Instead, they hope to offset the price differences by luring new or returning customers who may give McDonald’s a chance again.