Communication News: Animal group takes to campaign route after Lords' rebuff

Compassion in World Farming is planning to shift its emphasis on the industry's treatment of broiler chickens from legal challenges to public awareness-raising in the wake of the House of Lords' latest refusal to hear an appeal from the group.

The charity alleges that the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has failed to apply EU and UK law correctly to protect chickens bred for their meat. The charity claims that Defra's stance will lead to the continuing suffering of 800 million chickens in the UK. Broiler chickens are bred to reach slaughter weight as quickly as possible, leading to high rates of heart failure and painful leg problems.

But CIWF lost the first round of this judicial review in the High Court last October, and lost in the Appeal Court in July. The organisation then requested the Lords to consider the case, but the Lords refused permission last week.

A spokeswoman for the group said: "We are extremely disappointed with this outcome. It seems difficult to get people to care about chickens because they are not fluffy or attractive. As we can't change the law, we will campaign to change consumer attitudes."

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