Sustainable dog-food brand Beco has won the praise of an animal welfare charity for becoming the first British pet company to sign the ‘Better Chicken Commitment’.
The pledge, which helps safeguard the welfare of chickens in the food chain, was devised by animal protection organisations including the The Humane League UK. The organisation has now confirmed that Beco has adopted the BCC’s wide-ranging welfare criteria.
The Humane League UK said: “Beco has announced that it meets all the criteria of the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC), being one of the few pet food companies that exclusively uses free-range meat chickens and slower-growing breeds.”
Vicky Bond, managing director at The Humane League, said: “It is fantastic that Beco is supporting the Better Chicken Commitment, and meeting the higher welfare on all grounds. All too often pet food companies touting ‘free-range’ chicken are in fact using spent hens from the egg industry, hens that are killed at the end of the laying period with slaughter standards that often may not meet the BCC requirements.
“The Humane League UK applauds Beco for taking the lead in signing up for the Better Chicken Commitment. By being the first UK pet company to do this, Beco is setting an excellent example to others, both across their own industry, the pet sector, and elsewhere.”
Beco Founder George Bramble, who began producing natural, responsibly sourced food for dogs in 2016, said: “Beco is delighted to lead the way and be the first in the UK pet industry to sign up to the Better Chicken Commitment.
“We are keen to support The Humane League in its vital work to raise standards of chicken welfare across the world.”
The Better Chicken Commitment criteria aims to improve the lives of broiler chickens reared for meat. These criteria were developed by a group of leading animal protection organisations including The Humane League UK, the RSPCA, and Compassion in World Farming in 2018.
By prohibiting the use of fast-growing breeds, allowing more space and better living conditions as well as reducing distress at slaughter, the BCC eliminates some of the very worst problems inherent in the factory farming of chickens.
As part of its range of dog-food recipes, Beco uses chicken reared at a traditional, environmentally conscious farm in East Anglia, where Beco says its chickens roam pastures, enjoy sunlight and eat wild flowers and grubs.
George added: “Using free-range chicken is rare in the pet industry and is out of reach of most pet brands. Signing-up to the Better Chicken Commitment is our way of trying to encourage others to raise their basic chicken welfare standards.
“Our customers care about their dogs, but they also care about the way their foods have been produced and the wider environmental impact of their food.”