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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 July, 2003, 06:38 GMT 07:38 UK
Activists sue KFC over cruelty
KFC gets through 700 million chickens a year
A US animal rights group has sued fried-chicken chain KFC for allegedly lying about cruelty to poultry.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) claimed the company's advertising hid "grotesque abuses inflicted upon chickens by suppliers".

"KFC has said from the outset that they will not allow the animals to feel any pain... in fact every moment of these animals' lives is characterised by unmitigated misery," said Peta spokesman Bruce Friedrich.

Widespread use of intensive poultry breeding and rearing, Peta argued, was covered up by KFC in order to "mislead animal-friendly consumers".


The lawsuit is the latest move in a lengthy Peta campaign against KFC, which is responsible for raising and slaughtering more than 700 million chickens every year.

Peta activists
KFC is among Peta's main targets
For the past six months, Peta has been leading a boycott of KFC restaurants, and has encouraged one-off stunts; last month, activists in Germany doused KFC chief executive David Novak with fake blood.

The group's legal challenges have focused on KFC's advertising.

"Unfortunately it's not illegal to treat chickens in such an inhumane way, but at the very least we want KFC to tell the truth and live up to their promises of eliminating these horrible practices," Mr Friedrich said.


Yum Brands, KFC's parent company, dismissed the lawsuit as a publicity stunt, designed to mislead consumers.

"We stand by our information as truthful and accurate," the firm said in a statement.

"KFC is committed to the well-being and humane treatment of poultry."

The firm pointed out that it had adopted in May a new code of conduct on treatment of chickens.

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