Last Saturday (4 August) The Guardian ran an articleby John Vidal, entitled 'We bought this cheap chicken'. Despite the helpful focus on retailers not recogni-

sing British chicken farmers' escalating costs, the article did seem to argue that chickens kept for meat in the UK were farmed in cages.

This is completely untrue and British Poultry Council members, who look after the national flock, are sick of hearing it repeated. CIWF and others keep mentio-ning cages, yet the chickens that are reared to Red Tractor standards are kept in large houses or are free-range, not in battery cages.

The article was right to draw attention to welfare standards in third countries. The UK and the EU are leading the world in animal welfare - in the face of increased costs, particularly feed, that are not being fully recouped at the point of sale. British Poultry Council members rear chickens to the Red Tractor standard, which measures good health, welfare and food safety. These standards go

beyond the legal requirements and every farm is independently audited each year.

Consumers can be confident that chicken farmed in Britain is to a high standard.

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