FRANKFURT, Germany -- Animal rights activists in Germany sprayed fake blood and threw chicken feathers on the chief of YUM! Brands, owner of the world's largest chicken restaurant chain KFC, as he opened a new restaurant Monday in the city of Garbsen.
The protest targeting YUM! Brands' David Novak was aimed at raising attention to what activists from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) called KFC's cruelty to chickens during the raising, transport and slaughter of the animals, said Juergen Faulmann, who said he organized the protest for the German branch of the organization.
The company called for the perpetrators to be prosecuted.
"This is an act of corporate terrorism, and we believe the perpetrator should be prosecuted under the fullest extent of German law," said YUM! Brands spokesman Jonathan Blum. "They've crossed the line from simply expressing their views to corporate attacks and personal violence."
Police in Garbsen, near the central German city of Hanover, said they were searching for suspects. Faulmann said that two activists had been involved in the incident and both had fled.
Novak, who was not hurt, is head of the Louisville, Ky.-based YUM! Brands, Inc., which owns Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, along with KFC.
Peta accuses KFC of failing to respond to its calls for better conditions for chickens raised for use in its restaurants, including a 30 percent increase in the amount of space where the birds are enclosed, a more humane mode of loading them for transport and video surveillance in the slaughterhouses.
Earlier this month the group staged protests outside other KFCs in Germany.