A video by an animal welfare charity has revealed a phenomenon known as 'spaghetti meat'.
Described as a 'disgusting phenomenon', by Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), spaghetti meat is a muscular disorder that affects the fibers of the breast muscle. The fiber bundles that make up the muscle tissue in the breast muscle separate and resemble the long,
thin and cylindrical appearance of spaghetti.
According to CIWF, this issue stems from 'selectively breeding birds to grow so massive, so quickly, they can barely support their own weight'.
"This dangerously fast growth has disastrous animal welfare consequences: Chickens often struggle to walk and can suffer from leg deformities, respiratory problems, and heart attacks," says CIWF.
"Even worse, they may be in chronic pain from the time they are just two weeks old - pain that is associated with degenerative muscle disorders.
"Spaghetti meat - much like its equally nasty cousin, white striping - is a direct result of those muscle disorders. And the bad news for consumers: The meat resulting from chickens who suffer from these disorders is associated with less protein and higher fat."
CIWF's video shows what it calls the 'disgusting phenomenon'
Now CIWF has launched a petition telling food companies that these degenerative muscle disorders - and the low welfare standards which cause them - are unacceptable.
"Solutions to date have addressed nutrition, feed management, post-production processing and incorporating down-graded meat into processed products. In short, the focus has been on trying to treat the symptoms, as opposed to treating the problem at its cause: selective breeding for fast growth," it says.
"In order to meaningfully address the issue, producers and food companies must work together to move towards higher welfare strains of chickens and improved production practices," says the organization."