The RSPCA is launching a major national advertising campaign today to alert people to the suffering in commercial chicken production and to encourage consumers to buy higher welfare food.

The RSPCA plans to alert people to the fact that 100,000 chickens die prematurely each day due to forced unnatural weight gain and poor conditions.

The campaign coincides with a MORI survey for the RSPCA which found that 70% of people consider chicken to be the healthiest meat product while 71% believe it to be the lowest in fat. In addition, 72% think it is the cheapest and 60% the most versatile.

Government figures indicate that chicken is the farmed animal most in demand in the UK and constitutes about 850 million of the more than 900 million farm animals reared every year.

Caroline Le Seuer, RSPCA senior scientific officer said: “No law dictates fundamental welfare concerns like how much space must be given to the birds or what environment conditions are appropriate.

“This is an outrage particularly when you consider the potential scale for suffering given that the bulk of farm animals slaughtered in the UK and within the EU every year are chickens”