Animal welfare groups urge retailers to switch to slow-growing birds in face of record deaths last year

More than 80 million chickens died before reaching slaughter weight in the UK last year, with mortality rates the highest for at least a decade, reveal official figures.

Animal welfare organisations say the fast-growing chicken breeds that dominate production have higher mortality rates, lameness and muscle disease than slower-growing breeds. They are calling on retailers to switch to slower-growing breeds and provide more space for the birds.

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