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Wendy's moves to improve animal welfare in chicken suppliers

Wendy's supplier, O.K. Foods, has begun using a new method to render animals unconscious before they are killed.

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Wendy's moves to improve animal welfare in chicken and pork suppliers by using a new system to slaughter animals. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

Fast food chain Wendy's said that it was changing the way its suppliers slaughter the chicken and pigs used in its products in an effort to be more humane.

The Associated Press reported that Wendy's supplier, O.K. Foods of Ft. Smith, Ark., has begun using a low-atmospheric pressure system (LAPS) that knocks animals unconscious before being killed.

The process is said to be an improvement on the current practice of stunning animals with electricity before slaughtering them.

"We've studied the LAPS system and agree that it's a major improvement to industry practices," said Dennis Hecker, Wendy's senior vice president of quality assurance, according to CBS News. "We encourage all chicken producers to embrace this practice."

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In the annoucement, Wendy's also said that it was urging pork producers for the company to phase out the use of gestation crates and tight pens, which rights groups say are inhumane.

In February, rival McDonald's announced that it would tell suppliers to end the use of confining crates for pregnant sows.

Ohio-based Wendy's is the second largest hamburger chain in the US with 6,500 restaurants worldwide.

The plan comes at the heels of a recent push to brand itself as a higher quality burger chain, with recent menu changes and renovations of many of its branches.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business-tech/120324/wendys-moves-improve-animal-welfare-chicken-suppliers