A Catholic animal welfare group has welcomed a new cinema commercial about battery farming. Chickens Can't Run, due to be screened alongside Nick Park's animated movie Chicken Run at the UCI cinema in Leicester Square, was praised by the Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare (CSCAW) this week. While the movie Chicken Run is a comic spoof on the Great Escape in which battery birds devise an elaborate plot to escape the confines of their farm, the advert shows the harsh realities of modern poultry farming. Ad director Julliet Gellately said: "Real chickens have a much worse time than these cartoon characters. We hope our film will make people think about how we treat animals in this country." Chair of the CSCAW Mervyn Bocking said: "We welcome this film. People need to be aware of what is happening. The way factory farm animals are treated in this country is cruel and wicked. Codes of practice laid down by law are so often simply ignored. Animals are kept in intolerably cramped conditions. It seems that these companies are driven by sheer greed. As Christians, we have a duty to respect and care for all living creatures." Ms Gellately said the UK has a sorry battery farming record. "Almost 98 per cent of chickens killed for their meat are factory farmed. Up to 50,000 at a time live in sheds, standing in their own filth. Because they can't move, they become weak and overweight. Many young birds die of heart disease because they are so unhealthy." The Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare is a charity that was started in 1935. The current president is the Most Rev John Ward OFM, Archbishop of Cardiff. Its stated aim is: 'To bring our relations with the creatures of God into harmony with His will and purpose for them and us. To try to learn from the Holy Scriptures, the examples of the Saints, the rules and customs of the Church how God would have us think of his creatures and treat them." For more information about the CSCAW e-mail the general secretary, Deborah Jones on: DJone@cscaw.freeserve.co.uk
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