A FORMER supermarket employee led a protest against “cruel” chicken farming conditions following his dismissal.

Protesters dressed in butcher outfits gathered outside 21 stores across the UK over the bank holiday weekend – including in Worthing and Bognor.

The campaigners, who held placards displaying images of chicken farms, called for the removal of “Frankenchickens” from the supermarket’s shelves.

Ex-chicken farmer and former Morrisons employee Doug Maw led the silent protest in Bognor.

Doug claims he was dismissed for criticising the supermarket’s chicken welfare policies.

The Argus: Protesters held placards displaying images of chicken farms Protesters held placards displaying images of chicken farms

Morrisons recently launched a range of chicken reared to higher welfare standards.

However, campaigners claim the retailer continues to use meat from intensively farmed “Frankenchickens” - birds genetically engineered to grow 400 per cent faster than natural.

Connor Jackson, CEO of Open Cages, said: “Don’t be fooled by the cheap gestures and PR spin.

"For years now, Morrisons has sat on their hands and done the absolute minimum possible to improve chicken welfare, while pedalling out feel-good marketing campaigns and wearing only the costume of a company that cares about animals.

“Morrisons say they never tolerate malpractice in their supply chain. But as many as 30 per cent of Frankenchickens can barely walk because of painful lameness and deformities.

“Millions of these monstrous birds die from heart attacks because they can’t handle growing 400 per cent faster than natural, millions more have their necks broken to simply put them out of their misery."

In response to the protests, a Morrisons spokeswoman said: "We care deeply about animal welfare.

"All our regular chicken is raised to above Red Tractor standards; we are also the only retailer in Europe to ask our fresh chicken suppliers to require chicken to be born into the barn in which it will be raised by 2025.

“80 per cent of our fresh chicken meets this standard already.

"We also actively monitor for any malpractice in our supply chain, we will never tolerate it or look the other way and if we ever find it, we will act swiftly and decisively."