World Animal Protection has delivered a petition to KFC’s global headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. More than 560,000 people across 10 countries, including around 5,000 New Zealanders, joined the global charity in urging KFC to improve chicken welfare around the world, in order to improve the quality of life for the chickens.

The charity wants the company to commit globally to use breeds that are raised at a slower, more natural rate, and to source them from farms that provide more space, light and a stimulating environment.

KFC is yet to make a progressive commitment on chicken welfare and has resisted the call for change. At the same time, companies including McDonalds, Subway and Starbucks have publicly promised in the United States to improve the lives of chickens.

Around the world, 40 billion chickens are raised in factory farms in dire conditions. Momentum behind the movement for better meat-chicken welfare is growing as more and more people realise the horrors that happen behind the closed doors of factory farms.

“KFC and other fast food restaurants hold the power to transform the lives of billions of animals,” said Jonty Whittleton, global campaign head at World Animal Protection. “They need to put the welfare of the animals they rely on at the heart of their business.”