Anoushka Shankar Wants Kfc’S Cruelty To Chickens To Stop

Acclaimed Musician Calls on Fast-Food Chain to End ‘Shocking Abuse’

For Immediate Release:
1 June 2004

Poorva Joshipura 020 7357 9229, ext. 229

Dallas – Grammy Award nominee and longtime PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) supporter Anoushka Shankar has fired off a letter to Pete Bassi, chairman of KFC’s parent company, Yum! Restaurants International, urging him to eliminate such practices as scalding chickens to death in defeathering tanks and breeding and drugging birds so that they grow so large so fast that their leg bones break under their own weight.

‘As the world’s leading killer of chickens, KFC has the responsibility to take the lead in eliminating at least the very worst abuses, but to this date, KFC has done nothing to address them’, writes Anoushka.

PETA attempted to work with Yum! executives prior to launching its ‘Kentucky Fried Cruelty’ Campaign, but despite assurances made long ago by Senior Vice President Jonathan Blum that KFC would ‘raise the bar’ on animal welfare, the company refuses to eliminate the worst abuses. Seinfeld star and ex-KFC pitchman Jason Alexander had his contract with KFC cancelled after PETA enlisted him to speak to company execs about the suffering of chickens. PETA has had additional high-profile support from hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, actor Pamela Anderson, comedian Richard Pryor, rock icons Sir Paul McCartney and Chrissie Hynde and American civil-rights leader Dick Gregory.

Chickens raised for food at KFC’s supply farms are denied everything that they naturally need and desire. They are crammed by the tens of thousands into sheds that stink of ammonia fumes from accumulated waste and given barely enough room to move (the space allotted to each bird is roughly the same as the space taken up by a standard sheet of paper). They routinely suffer broken bones from being bred to be top heavy, from callous handling (workers roughly grab birds by their legs and stuff them into crates) and from being shackled upside-down at slaughterhouses. Chickens raised on factory farms are still babies when they’re killed, not yet 2 months old, whereas a chicken’s natural life span is 10 to 15 years.

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