Take action for chickens!

Take action Take action for chickens!

Millions of birds need your help

In 2011, the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC), the Government’s own advisors, published concerns that the New Zealand poultry industry was creating birds that may spend part of their short lives suffering from pain and lameness as a result of their unnaturally fast growth rates. NAWAC also noted that the intensive indoor systems chickens are raised in risk producing birds that are unable to develop and display normal behaviour.

Instead of advising the Government to make changes to the current farming practices and enforce new laws to reduce chicken suffering, NAWAC recommended the poultry industry take it upon themselves to make changes. Nearly ten years on, nothing has changed, and chickens continue to suffer.

Demand the Government and NAWAC act now!

Join SAFE as we hold the Government and the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) to account. 

NAWAC and the Government have failed to take steps to reduce the pain and suffering of over 120 million chickens who are bred for meat every year in Aotearoa.

Chicken farming in New Zealand

Over 120 million chickens are killed for their meat every year in Aotearoa. These gentle and intelligent birds are bred to grow at an extremely rapid rate, reaching slaughter weight while they are still chicks, at just six weeks old.

Rapid growth can cause chicks to suffer from a range of health issues, including heart failure and leg problems (lameness). Chicks can become so top heavy their legs simply can’t support their body weight, making it painful and difficult for them to walk or even stand. With limited ability to walk, or even stand, these chicks will spend long periods of time on the filthy floor litter, which leads to painful burns to the soles of their feet, breasts, and ankle joints. Nearly all chickens farmed for their meat in New Zealand are kept in overcrowded, dirty conditions with up to 40,000 other birds.

Two million birds die from health problems every year in New Zealand chicken farms before they are ‘big enough’ to be sent to the slaughterhouse.

Meet Pou!

At only six weeks old, cheeky little chick Pou’s traumatic life would have ended when she was killed to be eaten. But, against all the odds, Pou fell (or jumped!) from the back of the truck on the way to the slaughterhouse. By chance, she was rescued from the side of the road, and she’s now been adopted into a loving home.

Pou is short for Pounamu, because she is a treasure to her family. She is almost three years old now and spends her days roaming the garden, dust bathing and nibbling on fruit (her favourite food is raspberries!). At night, she sleeps in a small tent, nestled into a fluffy blanket – a far cry from the filthy shed she endured as a chick. While Pou can now lead a life worth living, there are still millions of gentle, intelligent birds just like her suffering so that the poultry industry can profit.

Together, we are creating kinder Aotearoa for millions of chickens just like Pou.

Give to SAFE's campaign

Chickens like Pou need your help. Donate now and help SAFE expose the truth behind chicken farming by holding the Government and NAWAC to account.

Take Action

Demand the Government and NAWAC act now

Write a polite email to the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor telling them why you want to see change for chickens.

Key points you can make:

  • I care about animals and was appalled to learn about the serious welfare issues and poor farming conditions over 120 million chickens bred for their meat experience every day in New Zealand.
  • It’s unethical to allow the poultry industry to breed baby birds that are at such a high risk of experiencing pain and suffering during their short lives.
  • NAWAC highlighted in its 2011 report that the welfare problems chickens bred for meat experience will not be ethically acceptable to New Zealanders. I fully agree with this statement and would like to see the Government take urgent action to reduce the suffering of these animals.
  • It has been over ten years since NAWAC acknowledged the welfare implications chickens experience as a result of their explosive growth rates and poor living conditions on meat farms. When will NAWAC and the Government change current farming practices to reduce the pain and suffering of these birds?
  • NAWAC and the Government have a responsibility to make changes to legislation, so chickens are protected under the law. The sheer scale of suffering in the poultry industry is putting New Zealand’s reputation for animal welfare at risk.

You will receive a copy of your email for your records. This email will be sent directly to Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and the National Animal Advisory Committee. Emails are public information, if you would like to withhold any of your information please write so in your email.


Instead of chickens, eat …

Scientific studies show that we can get all the nutrients and protein we need from plants. Beans and legumes are some of the healthiest sources of protein available, plus they have heaps of fibre.

More and more Kiwis are making the switch to plant-based protein sources, and the options are endless! Check out these tasty chicken swaps available at your local supermarket.

Craving a tasty chicken-free meal? Try some of our delicious and easy chicken-free recipes.

Eat with Kindness

Make a difference for chickens

Deciding to leave chicken off your plate is one of the most impactful ways you can make a difference for animals in Aotearoa. Take the Chicken-Free Challenge today and get ready to discover how easy and delicious eating kinder for chickens can be!

Donate today

Help us continue helping animals in need

As a charity, SAFE is reliant on the support of caring people like you to carry out our valuable work. Every gift goes towards providing education, undertaking research and campaigning for the benefit of all animals. SAFE is a registered charity in New Zealand (CC 40428). Contributions of $5 or more are tax-deductible.