November 2007: River Cottage founder Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has launched a campaign to improve conditions of broiler chickens which are factory farmed for meat.

He said: “I feel that these conditions are unacceptable – so much so, that I’m launching a national campaign to put pressure on the industry to raise its standards: the Chicken Out! campaign.“Chicken Out! has so far been led by River Cottage locals, especially in and around Axminster, and we’ve had a fantastic response.”Now Hugh is hoping to get the campaign publicised nationwide and is encouraging people to view the website for more details.“Rearing conditions for most chickens in the UK are unacceptably intensive, as farmers are put under pressure to produce poultry as quickly and cheaply as possible,” said Hugh.“Birds commonly develop severe injuries associated with unnaturally fast weight gain and restricted movement, and many die prematurely: 45 million factory-farmed birds are thrown away each year before they even reach slaughter-weight.“The birds are deprived of essential stimulation and unable to express their natural behaviour.”

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