Mercy For Animals releases its first U.S. retailer report ranking major supermarkets and other chains on their approach to chicken welfare and urged them to adopt meaningful chicken welfare guidelines. The report scores 24 companies according to their efforts to address the most pressing welfare issues associated with chickens raised for meat. The full 2021 U.S. retailer report is available here.

Companies ranked in the scorecard include Walmart, Kroger, Target, Albertsons, Meijer and Trader Joe’s. Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Giant Eagle and Sprouts are some of the top performers, while Target, ALDI, and Winn-Dixie are among those ranked lowest.

“Kroger and Albertsons, the country’s two largest supermarket companies, have begun making meaningful progress on key chicken welfare issues,” said Leah Garcés, president of Mercy For Animals. “But others—such as Target, ALDI, and Winn-Dixie—have failed to take action to prohibit the worst practices and reduce suffering for the chickens in their supply chains.”

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More than 200 companies in North America have adopted the Better Chicken Commitment, a leading set of welfare practices that eliminate the worst abuses of chickens used for meat, including by giving birds more space, providing environmental enrichments and ending cruel live-shackle slaughter.

“Retailers know people care about animals,” added Garcés. “By adopting the standards of the Better Chicken Commitment, grocery stores and supermarkets can address growing consumer concern for how animals are raised and slaughtered.”