From: Reuters
Published May 12, 2006 12:00 AM

PETA Urges Applebees to Alter Poultry Slaughter

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Thursday prodded Applebee's International Inc. to move toward a more humane method for slaughtering chickens.

PETA, which has targeted several restaurant companies recently over this issue, failed to garner more than 5 percent of shareholder support for a shareholder resolution on the matter at Applebee's annual meeting on Thursday, but vowed to continue the fight.

"Until Applebee's starts to take concern for animal welfare ... seriously, we'll still be pushing them to do so," said PETA campaign coordinator Matt Prescott.

PETA's wants Applebee's and other restaurant chains, including McDonald's Corp. , to switch to controlled-atmosphere killing (CAK), a method the group has said is already being used by some European processors.

McDonald's has been studying the issue and Applebee's has said it would be duplicative and expensive to also do such a study. Applebee's said it is not opposed to CAK but believes it warrants "continued study and review."

Under the CAK method, chickens receive a mixture of gas and oxygen to render them unconscious before the slaughtering process begins.

Current U.S. systems shackle the chickens, hang them upside down and run them through electrified baths to stun them before their throats are slit and they are put into scalding defeathering tanks. PETA cited U.S. Department of Agriculture reports as evidence that millions of chickens annually are conscious through most if not all of the process.

Applebee's operates 1,839 restaurants globally.

Source: Reuters

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