An animal-advocacy group released hidden-camera video in downtown Los Angeles Thursday purporting to show abuse of chickens at a Tennessee farm that supplies poultry to Tyson Foods and McDonald’s, prompting both companies to cut ties with the facility.
According to Mercy for Animals, the video showed workers at T&S Farm in Dukedom, Tenn., clubbing and stabbing chickens and slamming chickens in transport crates, often breaking their bones. It also shows baby birds being bred to grow quickly, leaving them crippled under their own weight, and shows other sick and injured birds being left without veterinary care, according to the group.
The farm is a contractor for Tyson Foods, a supplier of chicken for McDonald’s popular McNuggets, according to the group.
“Before being killed for Chicken McNuggets, birds are crammed into filthy, windowless sheds, thrown, kicked and tortured by careless workers and bred to grow so fast they suffer from painful leg deformities and heart attacks,” Mercy for Animals President Nathan Runkle said. “This is horrific animal abuse no company with morals should support.”
Both Tyson and McDonald’s responded to the video by cutting ties with the farm.
“Animal well-being is a priority at our company and we will not tolerate the unacceptable animal treatment shown in this video,” according to a statement released by Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson. “We’re especially concerned about the inappropriate methods used to euthanize sick and injured chickens.
“Members of our animal well-being team are investigating, however, based on what we currently know, we are terminating the farmer’s contract to grow chickens for us. There are currently no chickens on the farm.”
McDonald’s issued a statement supporting the move by Tyson.
“We believe treating animals with care and respect is an integral part of a responsible supply chain and find the behavior depicted in this video to be completely unacceptable,” according to the company. “We support Tyson Foods’ decision to terminate their contract with this farmer. We’re working with Tyson Foods to further investigate this situation and reinforce our expectations around animal health and welfare at the farm level.”
—City News Service