Animal Treatment for The Meat and Dairy Industry example

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Animal Treatment for The Meat and Dairy Industry


Ethical issues on animal treatment for the industry

Events and Facts

Learning for the Future

Ethical issues: advantages and disadvantages

Legal policy




Industrial production of farmed animals raises a range of ethical issues and many companies (including fast-food giants such as McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC and others) are facing them. This report shows the case of 2003 when a campaign against KFC was launched as a result of company’s supplier’s employers treating animals inhumanely. The ethical issue was the following: as a commercial company, KFC’s aim was to maintain and gain its global market share therefore the company was interested in increasing the number of poultry produced with less resources needed. The controversy was that more humane methods of treating animals required more finances and other resources to spend on it. Together with that, by using inhumane methods of animal treatment, the company might have become an outsider in the public eye due to having an ‘animal cruel company’ mark.

2. Ethical issues of animal treatment for the industry

To start with, the KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) is a transnational company specializing in a fast-food meal production. Since chicken is the main ingredient and dish of the brand the company requires many poultry suppliers to meet the demand. Therefore, the politics that suppliers support in their companies and their behavior directly affects KFC.

Events and Facts

Since 2000 PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) volunteers have been campaigning against animal cruelty. In 2001 they wrote a letter to KFC trying to convince the executives to change the way chickens were treated and improve animal welfare. More humane ways were introduced (gas-killing, wider cells etc). Moreover, the guidelines and principles of a proper animal treatment were developed by PETA for KFC’s suppliers.

Some of the proposed measures were then implemented by the company. For example, KFC launched an audit of the slaughterhouses and conditions were improved. But still it was not enough and PETA started an open campaign and declared the “Month of Action” against KFC in May, 2003.

Learning for the Future

As a result, KFC had to agree to make significant changes. Firstly, the programs of personnel training for the supplier companies were adopted. Besides, cameras in order to video tape the process of animal treatment were installed. Thirdly, more humane ways of killing chickens were introduced. Also, animal welfare guidelines were established for that animals were to be treated appropriately in the supplier companies.

Ethical issues: advantages and disadvantages

The described situation of antagonism between PETA and KFC shows that there is a revealed ethical issue.


The first point is that the war of the company with environmental protectionists might have resulted in the loss of credibility of the firm. Activists had been successfully campaigning against other companies as well (for example, campaign against McDonald’s in 2001) and the latter had to go to great concessions in order …

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