All sausage and bacon served in McDonald's meals will now be sourced from farms that meet strict animal welfare criteria set down by the RSPCA, the restaurant has announced.
From the end of April, meat in McMuffins to premium salads will only use 100% Freedom Food pork, currently delivered by less than a third of British pig farmers.
The Freedom Food scheme goes beyond industry standards and legislation with farmers required to provide bright, airy environments, bedded pens and plenty of space for pigs to move around in.
McDonald's said it hoped its support for the scheme would encourage more pork producers to adopt the criteria on their farms, while allowing customers to make "affordable, ethical choices on the high street".
Beauty retailer The Body Shop and non-profit organisation Cruelty Free International celebrated a milestone in 20 years of animal rights campaigning, as an EU ban on animal testing for cosmetics came into effect today.
From today onwards, anyone wishing to sell new cosmetic products and ingredients in the EU must not test them on animals anywhere in the world.
Singer Leona Lewis, who is also part of the campaign, urged governments around the world to introduce a ban on animal testing for cosmetics.
Lewis said: "Together we can send a message to governments worldwide that cruelty free is the humane future.”
A leading vet has spoken out against the "unacceptable" rise in the number of farm animals slaughtered by having their throats cut while fully conscious.
The practice is allowed under UK and EU law to satisfy the dietary requirements of Jews and Muslims.
However, according to Professor Bill Reilly, a past-president of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), there is evidence that far more animals are being killed this way than is necessary for religious reasons alone.
In my view, the current situation is not acceptable and, if we cannot eliminate non-stunning, we need to keep it to the minimum.
This means restricting the use of Halal and Kosher meat to those communities that require it for their religious beliefs and, where possible, convincing them of the acceptability of the stunned alternatives.
– Professor Bill Reilly, former president of the BVA