If somebody told you that an animal was 'free to roam', you'd probably think that's a pretty good situation, right? Not so if you're a chicken in a factory farm. Can you believe the chicken industry has been calling this 'free to roam'?!
Alright, it's probably no surprise that an industry willing to lock thousands of animals in sheds like this is also willing to bend the truth when they try to sell dead animals to the public. But this time around, it doesn't look like they'll get away with it.
Following a complaint, prompted by Animals Australia, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has decided to take a number of chicken producers (including producers for Steggles and La Ionica) to court for misleading advertising.
But these companies aren't the only ones using these dodgy tactics to sell chickens. Seeing the writing on the wall, KFC have now taken all claims that their chickens are 'free to roam' off their website.
If the ACCC case is successful, then Steggles, La Ionica and the Australian Chicken Meat Federation will be forced to publicly correct their misleading claims.
If only the ACCC could also force them to tell the public that birds inside their sheds have been selectively bred to grow so unnaturally fast that many cannot even lift their own body weight to reach food or water. Or that they kill the birds when they are only 6 weeks old -- cutting their lives short by about 11 years. Or that because these animals are forced to live in their own waste many suffer chemical burns to their chest and legs.
But we don't need to wait for the chicken industry to admit their shady sales tactics. Take the Quiz to find out if you've been duped by the chicken industry. Then click here to post it to Facebook and challenge your mates to see if they can see through the industry spin.
Update: 10th January, 2012 -- Chicken meat company La Ionica has agreed to settle! They've been ordered to pay a $100,000 fine, remove the misleading advertisement from shops and publish an ad admitting liability in a Melbourne newspaper. Baiada, Bartter and the Australian Chicken Meat Federation are continuing with the case though, which will go to court in March of this year. Stay tuned!