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Groups Turn up Pressure on McDonald's Chicken Policies: 'It's Just Not Right'

ShaRhonda Knott-Dawson, a west suburban mother of two young girls, takes her family to McDonald’s semiregularly because it’s an indulgence they all enjoy.

But she’s put those trips on hold for now. Knott-Dawson plans to launch an online petition this week in coordination with the nonprofit Compassion in World Farming to urge McDonald’s to switch to different breeds of chickens that would have an improved quality of life. The campaign also encourages McDonald’s to give the birds more space.

“I care about basic dignity for these animals. It’s just not right,” said Knott-Dawson, 39.
 
In total, eight animal welfare charities, including groups like the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, are turning up the pressure on McDonald’s, a national effort that offers a glimpse into the larger debate about how chickens are farmed in the U.S., and the role that major food chains play in shaping that debate.
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