08/12/2014

Feeling the squash: GOOD Agency and RSPCA highlight the plight of millions of meat farmed chickens this Farm Animal Week

This morning on Carnaby Street, London, RSPCA Volunteers are experiencing the cramped conditions, as little as an A4 piece of paper, in which millions of chickens reared for meat exist for every day of their lives, with little space for natural behaviour such as resting, playing or exhibiting their natural sociable behaviour.

GOOD Agency and RSPCA created an installation in Carnaby Street where groups of volunteers were invited to ‘feel the squash’, replicating the living conditions of chickens with up to 20 people squashed into a space just 2.1m by 1.5m.

Imagine living your whole life squashed together with thousands of others, not able to move freely or socialise with the people that you know. This Farm Animal Week (29th September to 6th October) the RSPCA is focusing on chickens as one example of the many farm animal species which spend their lives with very little space, light or environmental enrichment.

rspca_01(2)

Hundreds of millions chickens farmed for meat are living in less allocated space than an A4 piece of paper, much too close for comfort. Because they naturally form firm friendships and prefer the company of chickens that they know these cramped conditions make for a very stressful and sometimes painful life.
Take a #squashie

GOOD Agency created a wide-ranging fundraising initiative, using the power of social media, where the RSPCA is asking people to replace their selfies during Farm Animal Week with#squashies – squashing as many people as they can get into one photo. Show your support by taking your own #squashie, nominating family and friends to feel the squash and take their own and donate by texting CLUCK to 70111.

To show his support, Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep led the way, tweeting one of the first #squashies to go live.

rspca_02(2)

All the money raised will be used to support the RSPCA’s work with farm animals, with the campaign centred around a call to unsquash millions of chickens – improving their lives through things like straw bales to peck, natural light and space to express natural behaviours.

Matthew Cull, High Value Giving Manager of the RSPCA says:

“Raising standards of farm animal welfare is a lesser known, but very important part of the RSPCA’s work, not just for chickens, but for pigs, hens, cows and sheep. These animals have similar needs as our pets, including freedom from fear and distress and freedom to express their natural behaviour. This week’s initiative is about raising awareness of the cramped conditions in which millions of farm animals spend their lives”.

“There are more chickens in the UK than any other land based farm animal. We have focused on this species this year with activity which we hope will make people think about all the issues around farm animal welfare and encourage them to donate to help us in our ongoing work to improve the living conditions of millions of farm animals”.

The installation will also visit Cardiff (2 October) and Birmingham (4 October) during Farm Animal Week. Follow #unsquash on Twitter for the latest news and #squashies.