Activist calls for clearer labelling on chicken meat produced in Europe
Tamsin French dressed as a chicken named Rosa. Photo: Compassion In World Farming/Community Newswire/PA Wire
A farmer is about to tour Europe in a chicken costume to call for clearer labelling on poultry meat.
Tamsin French, 23, will visit 21 EU countries dressed as a chicken named Rosa.
Tamsin, whose family run a poultry farm in Devon, wants clear method of production labelling to be displayed on all chicken meat produced in Europe.
Her 39Days4Rosa tour is taking place as the European Commission reviews poultry meat labelling this summer.
Around 90 per cent of meat chickens reared in the EU come from intensive indoor systems. They have an average life span of around 39 days.
Tamsin said: “Our free range chickens live for 56 days, and from the moment they’re old enough to go outside they can range through tree covered, landscaped fields where they can express natural habitual behaviour. It’s important that consumers can accurately and easily identify the farm system used to rear their chicken meat.”
Tamsin will set off from London today and arrive at the European Parliament in Brussels on September 8.
She will stop in The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithunia, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Spain and France.
It’s important that consumers can accurately and easily identify the farm system used to rear their chicken meat
She will be joined by Johanna Olsson, an animal science student from Berkshire, and Sam White, an animal welfare campaigner from Essex.
Their tour is part of the Labelling Matters campaign run by Compassion in World Farming, RSPCA, Soil Association, and World Animal Protection, and supported by Eurogroup for Animals.
Tamsin said: “A method of production labelling already exists for shell eggs. It means consumers can tell which farm system was used to produce the eggs they buy and has been an important factor in driving the dramatic increase in the number of cage-free egg-laying hens across Europe.
“I want to see this type of labelling extended to chicken meat – because clear, comparable, point of sale information is very important if higher welfare markets are to grow.”