Consumers are increasingly concerned about how their food is produced and the welfare of the animals involved. Studies across the EU, North America, Latin America, Asia and Australia indicate that animal welfare concerns have become more important to consumers over the past two decades. Consumers consistently show a high level of concern for broiler chicken welfare. Surveys of attitudes to animal welfare across 14 countries found that a substantial majority of adults surveyed in all countries agree that chickens can feel pain, can experience emotion, and need room to explore and exercise.
Consumers’ main concerns regarding broiler chicken welfare relate to living conditions, including outdoor access, and space allowance, the possibility to carry out species-appropriate behaviour, and humane transport and slaughter methods. Compared with chicken meat produced in conventional highly intensive production systems, many consumers are willing to pay more for chicken meat from higher welfare systems, including indoor systems with more space and enrichment, free-range and organic systems.