Broiler Chicken Welfare

Which Wich supports best practices in humane animal treatment through thoughtful procurement practices and recognizes that animal welfare is important for the safe and sustainable food supply chain. While Which Wich is a restaurant company and therefore, does not raise, handle, own, transport, or process animals, we work with suppliers who are committed to the humane treatment of animals and that utilize established industry guidelines for the treatment and handling of farm production animals based on credible science. The restaurant and foodservice industry is currently addressing concerns regarding breeding, housing, and slaughter of poultry raised for consumption. We and our suppliers demonstrate support for this initiative through the Five Freedoms adopted by the World Organization for Animal Health, Farm Animal Welfare Council, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:

  1. Freedom from hunger or thirst;
  2. Freedom from discomfort;
  3. Freedom from pain, injury, or disease:
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviors; and
  5. Freedom from fear and distress.

We believe that these objectives will offer improved animal welfare outcomes, but we understand from our suppliers that the path to achieving these objectives is still in development. However, our suppliers are committed to evaluating new techniques and technologies to ensure the humane treatment of broiler chickens throughout the production process based on science-based best standards. Specifically, our suppliers have continued research on lighting, enrichment, and density of poultry to identify the best system to provide lighting for broilers as well as CAS stunning and testing. In addition, our suppliers undergo third party auditing of animal welfare indicators based on the National Chicken Council’s Welfare Guidelines for Broilers.

We will continue to work with suppliers that are committed to the above and will continue to support efforts of those that seek continued progress in the handling of broiler chickens.

Our goal is to accomplish the following for our supply chain by 2024:

  • Reduce stocking density to a maximum of 6 lbs./sq. foot and prohibit broiler cages;
  • Provide birds enriched environments including litter, lighting, and enrichment that meets GAP’s new standards;
  • Process chickens in a manner that avoids pre-stun handling and instead utilizes a multi-step controlled atmosphere processing system that induces an irreversible stun; and
  • Demonstrate compliance with the above standards via third party auditing.

And by 2026 to transition to strains of birds that demonstrate higher welfare outcomes that meet the criteria of the RSPCA Broiler Breed Welfare Assessment Protocol or Global Animal Partnership (GAP).

While Which Wich restaurants are primarily owned and operated by independent franchisees, we require that all restaurants procure chicken only through our approved supplier network.