NFU writes to the Mail on Sunday on chicken production

First published: 31 October 2022

Portriat photo of NFU poultry board chair James Mottershead

NFU poultry board chair James Mottershead

NFU poultry board chair James Mottershead wrote to the Mail on Sunday in response to an article by Tom Rawstorne which criticised the production of 'fast-growing' chicken.

To the editor,

As a representative of British poultry farmers and a proud poultry producer myself, I find articles such as Tom Rawstorne’s ‘How your supermarket chicken has a pitiful life of just 35 days’ extremely disappointing. 

It failed to say that the UK has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world, across all production systems. More than 95% of chicken produced in the UK is Red Tractor assured, which means farms are independently inspected to ensure, among other things, that the health and welfare of their flock is at the core of production and birds have access to enrichments such as scratching areas and bales to perch on to display natural behaviours. Your article doesn’t reflect this reality on farm.

Chicken is a staple of British menus and people can be assured that British poultry farmers prioritise the health and welfare of their birds. When people buy British chicken, they are purchasing a high-quality, nutritious product from farmers who care.

James Mottershead

NFU poultry board chair