ANIMAL welfare campaigners are calling on the public to lobby their supermarkets to encourage them to sign-up to the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC).

The RSPCA’s new Better Chicken campaign aims to help British retailers meet the BCC’s minimum broiler asks by 2026.

The charity's campaign also aims to show the public how their purchasing decisions can make a difference to animal welfare.

The BCC is a set of requirements for improving broiler welfare, with an aim to drive the food industry towards higher welfare practices.

These include providing broilers with more space, light and enrichment and ensuring only slower-growing breeds are used.

However, the RSPCA's new campaign comes after last week's dismissal of a High Court legal challenge over the use of fast-growing breeds of chickens.

The Humane League UK, represented by Advocates for Animals, argued against a law permitting farmers to keep so-called “Frankenchickens”, which reach their slaughter weight of 2.2kg in 34 to 36 days.

Animal welfare groups said after the legal challenge that it was a "huge missed opportunity to address the biggest issue for animal welfare in this country."

Emily Harris, campaigns manager at the RSPCA, said last week’s ruling showed there "is a real disconnect between what the legal system and lawmakers think is acceptable compared to what the public thinks is acceptable."

“We know that 87% of the public expect supermarkets to ensure that all chicken meat they sell is farmed to higher welfare standards," she said.

“The RSPCA and our colleagues at RSPCA Assured work closely with retailers and so we wanted to create a helpful guide to make it as easy as possible for them to sign-up to the BCC and improve animal welfare."

Last week, 96% of the 32,000 Co-op members voted for the retailer to adopt the BCC, but the retailers’ directors overruled this vote.

Aldi, Asda, Iceland, Lidl, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Tesco are also yet to make the commitment.