There is little enthusiasm at animal rights group Wakker Dier for the agreement reached between supermarkets, abattoirs and poultry farms to start phasing out cheap broiler chickens in 2015.
All those involved in the production and sale of cheap fast-breeding chickens (plofkip) agreed on Monday to phase out these chickens for use as meat, and to have them out of supermarkets by 2020.
The decision comes in the wake of a campaign by Wakker Dier to force better living conditions for chickens and pigs.
The group says the supermarkets promised last summer to only sell pigs and chickens which qualify for at least one star – better life – in the meat production rankings.
Wakker Dier says it is unimpressed with an agreement that allows for 18 instead of 20 chickens in a square metre, with birds that will never go outside and will live just a couple of days longer than they do at present.
‘This agreement means the industry does not have to do anything until 2015 to swap these maimed chickens with a cross between a normal chicken and a fast-breed chicken,’ a spokesman told the NRC.
According to retail food group CBL a faster change-over is not possible because it takes time to raise a new breed.
The change-over should be complete by 2020, although the plofkip will still be reared for export. Only some 30% of the chicken produced in the Netherlands is for the domestic market.