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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 December 2007, 06:39 GMT
Festive turkeys reared 'cruelly'
Supermarkets are improving their practices, the survey found

Large numbers of farm animals including the majority of the UK's Christmas turkeys, are being fattened in cruel conditions, new research shows.

Compassion in World Farming says more than 80% of turkeys sold this year by Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons will have been intensively reared.

But it found overall, supermarkets are improving their welfare policies.

Marks and Spencer was named compassionate supermarket of the year, other awards were given to Sainsbury's.

The survey by the campaign group found 90% of chickens sold in UK stores were factory farmed.

Welfare improving

More than 75% of products such as cakes and quiche made from eggs use those from battery hens, CIWF said.

It also criticised some supermarkets for still selling pork from animals kept in confined areas.

Despite the criticism, supermarkets are improving their welfare practices, with selling free range rather battery hens highlighted as the biggest change.

Marks and Spencer came top of its supermarket league, and Sainsbury's was named most improved.

Asda got the lowest score of the chains surveyed, but the report used results from a 2005 survey after Asda did not take part this year.

An Asda spokesman said they had reservations about how the survey was conducted.

CIWF's director of research, Lesley Lambert, said: "Although we have seen some real progress in terms of farm animal welfare, it must not be forgotten that the majority of farm animals are reared intensively with serious impacts on their welfare."

Its findings were based on stores' animal welfare policies for issues such as the rearing, slaughter and transportation of cattle, poultry, pigs and fish.

How turkey became a fast food
07 Feb 07 |  Magazine
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