KFC is to become the first UK fast food chain to sign up to new European welfare standards for farmed chicken, The Guardian has reported.

The standards are being implemented in an attempt to tackle increasing concerns about the inhumane conditions that the animals are living in, when breed by intensive and large-scale production methods.

The standards including implementing maximum stocking densities, adopting breeds that demonstrate higher welfare outcomes and improving natural lighting and air quality.

It is thought the move will put pressure on other chains, such as McDonald’s and Burger King, as well as the supermarkets.

KFC UK and Ireland has said it will work with suppliers and NGOs to improve the minimum level of standards by 2026.

Paula MacKenzie, general manager of KFC UK & Ireland, said: “Our customers care about improving the lives of the chicken we buy. That’s why we’re adding our voice to the campaign and encouraging others to do the same – because to inspire real change and provoke meaningful action, we need the industry to move with us.”