Domino’s Pizza Enterprises (DPE) has joined the European Chicken Commitment. Following discussions with the Albert Schweitzer Foundation and Compassion in World Farming, the pizza chain committed to raising its animal welfare standards for chickens raised for meat, so-called broiler chickens, in six European countries. With the commitment, organizations and companies are tackling the biggest problems in chicken farming: suffering due to overbreeding lack of space, light and pecking substrates as well as cruel stunning methods before slaughter.
The chicken meat that Domino’s sells in its more than 1,000 shops in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands will fully meet the Commitment’s minimum standards starting 2026 at the latest. These are significantly higher than the legal minimum and also address the overbreeding of animals, which is usually not the case with so-called animal welfare labels. The animals, bred for rapid, massive growth, suffer from significant health problems that even alternative farming methods cannot alleviate.
Mahi Klosterhalfen, President of the Albert Schweitzer Foundation says: “We are pleased that Domino’s is taking responsibility with this commitment for the conditions under which so-called farm animals are being raised. Unfortunately, actors in politics and agriculture hardly take measures to protect these animals. With the European Chicken Commitment, we are therefore establishing a new minimum standard in chicken farming and thus reducing the suffering of millions of animals. Hundreds of companies in Europe, the USA and Canada are starting to implement our animal welfare requirements. We are sure to add many more because no responsible company can afford to support animal cruelty.”
Stoffel Thijs, CEO Domino’s Pizza Germany: „For us, joining the Better Chicken Commitment ( Note: Also known as European Chicken Commitment ) is the logical next step on our way to live up to our claim to improved, sustainable animal husbandry that is in line with animal welfare. For many years, we have been working with our supplier to improve standards in the animal industry and, for example, we do not use eggs from caged hens. In addition, we are continuously expanding our menu to include vegan alternatives. We are very pleased to have found a partner in CIWF that will help us to further professionalize our animal welfare policy in the coming years.»
In addition to the six countries mentioned, DPE also has branches in Australia, New Zealand and Japan, which are not yet taking part in this voluntary commitment. Excluded from the commitment are also some of Domino’s branches in other European countries, as these are managed by other franchisees.
European Chicken Commitment against suffering due to overbreeding and for better welfare conditions
In Germany alone, more than 620 million chickens raised for meat are slaughtered every year. The majority of them live in large, barren halls, often without daylight. The animals grow so fast that organs and bones often cannot keep up. Shortly before slaughter, up to 26 chickens share one square meter. To anaesthetize them, the animals are usually dragged headfirst through an electric water bath. All this causes psychological and physical suffering to the chickens.
In order to take action against these grievances , the Albert Schweitzer Foundation and 29 other animal protection groups have launched the European Chicken Commitment. Worldwide, more than 380 companies have already committed to the NGOs’ higher animal welfare standards. Among them are corporations like Nestlé and Unilever, top caterers like Compass, manufacturers like Rügenwalder Mühle and restaurant chains like Ikea and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Compliance with the standards will be monitored by independent third parties.
The company’s official statement can be found here (in German).