Tyson Foods Inc. and six of its slaughterhouse workers face charges of 33 counts of criminal animal cruelty after they were captured on hidden camera by a Mercy For Animals investigator violently punching, throwing, and maliciously torturing animals for fun.
An MFA investigator documented alarming animal cruelty at Tyson Foods’ slaughterhouse just outside of Carthage, Mississippi—one of the largest poultry slaughterhouses in the entire world—revealing a culture of sadistic abuse and needless suffering.
In addition to punching and throwing animals, workers were caught beating, shoving, and otherwise tormenting frightened animals for fun. Improperly shackled birds were documented getting their heads ripped off while they were still alive and conscious. Due to facility conditions, birds were painfully shocked with electricity but remained fully conscious when their throats were cut open. Chickens were also dumped on top of each other on a conveyor belt, causing many to suffocate under the weight of other birds.
Watch the video footage that led to these charges here:
This is the third undercover investigation of a Tyson facility released by MFA since July 2015. All have exposed the ongoing and systemic animal abuse in Tyson Foods’ poultry supply chain.
The owners of T & S Farm, a Tyson contract farm in Tennessee, were also recently charged with criminal animal cruelty after an MFA investigation revealed the farm owners beating and stabbing chickens using a spiked club, standing on the birds’ necks, and throwing live birds into buckets to suffer and slowly die.
Although chickens account for more than 95 percent of the animals killed for food in the U.S., they are not covered by the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. MFA is calling on Tyson Foods to implement meaningful animal welfare requirements for all of its company-owned and contract farms and slaughterhouses. Tyson Foods has the power as well as the ethical responsibility to end the worst forms of animal cruelty.
Specifically, MFA is urging Tyson to replace live-shackle slaughter methods with less cruel controlled atmosphere systems that eliminate the horrific suffering caused by shackling, shocking, and slitting the throats of conscious animals. With these USDA-approved systems, workers never handle live birds. The change would minimize malicious animal abuse by slaughterhouse workers and ensure that no animals have their heads ripped off while fully conscious or are scalded alive in feather-removal tanks—something the USDA estimates happens to as many as 1 million birds per year in the U.S.
While these charges are a clear message to the industry that animal cruelty is unacceptable, the best way to ensure that chickens are protected from such horrific abuse is to leave them off your plate. Click here to get started with free vegetarian recipes and tips!