Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

UK Supermarkets Ranked for Animal Welfare

Here's an overlooked story from early December. The British farm animal welfare organization Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) released a ranking of supermarkets based on animal welfare criteria.

Asda has been singled out as the supermarket to avoid if shoppers care about the welfare of the animals they are about to eat.

Britain's second biggest grocer was named and shamed in a report published today by Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), which campaigns for higher standards of animal welfare. Supermarkets were scored out of five based on the standards they set their suppliers on a range of categories, from transport and slaughter of animals, to fish farming. Tesco, which is the UK's most powerful retailer, was also rapped for not using its huge influence to do more to improve conditions for farmed animals.

The biggest exception is Marks & Spencer, which won the compassionate supermarket award for 2007 at a ceremony last night. It stole the crown from Waitrose, which came second. Sainsbury's, which has been turned around under its current chief executive, Justin King, also did well. It was highlighted as both the best of the Big Four chains and the supermarket that had done the most to improve its animal welfare standards over the past 24 months....

CIWF's Anna Fraser, who wrote the report, said Asda had been placed at the bottom of the caring supermarket league – in eighth place – based on its attitude towards animal welfare two years ago. This year Asda was the only supermarket that refused to complete CIWF's survey. The chain was recently condemned for selling chickens for £2.

"We see Asda's approach as a measure of its commitment to animal welfare and believe that companies willing to reveal their animal welfare standards are ones with less to hide," she said.

Asda, part of Wal-Mart, the world's biggest supermarket group, slammed the charity's survey as "subjective". It claimed its refusal to co-operate "does not mean that we don't take animal welfare seriously".

Asda is part of Wal-Mart? 'Nuff said.

Photo by derrickting.

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