Closed for Cruelty: MFA Investigation Shuts Down Factory Farm

After they were caught on video beating animals to death with spiked clubs, former McDonald’s chicken suppliers Thomas and Susan Blassingame lost their longtime contract with Tyson Foods, pled guilty to criminal cruelty to animals, and quit the chicken factory farming business for good. The Blassingames were fined $25 each—a paltry slap on the wrist for such horrific animal abuse—and placed on a year of unsupervised probation.

Watch the video that led to the shutdown of this McDonald’s chicken supplier:

But this is just one of thousands of factory farms that help grow the whopping 2 billion chickens Tyson slaughters each year in the United States. Multiple undercover investigations at Tyson Foods have uncovered a pattern of egregious cruelty and neglect nearly identical to that exposed at this McDonald’s McNugget supplier.

Most recently, MFA filed affidavits to initiate criminal animal cruelty charges against Tyson and six of its slaughterhouse workers after a hidden camera captured them violently punching, throwing, and maliciously torturing animals for fun.

Clearly, this isn’t about the failure of a single factory farm or slaughterhouse to meet industry standards; it’s a matter of industry standards allowing for blatant animal abuse.

Chickens are arguably the most abused animals on the planet. But that isn’t going to change because Tyson Foods fired one of its suppliers or a few people were convicted of animal abuse. Change is needed throughout Tyson’s entire supply chain.

To that end, MFA is calling on Tyson Foods to end selective breeding of birds for rapid growth and to shift to slower-growing breeds of birds to prevent health problems related to accelerated growth. Birds should be provided with more space, clean litter, access to natural light, and environmental enrichments. Additionally, the live-shackle slaughter method should be replaced by less cruel systems that eliminate the horrific suffering caused by shackling, shocking, and slitting the throats of conscious animals.

MFA’s investigations at chicken factory farms and slaughterhouses across the country reveal that animal abuse runs rampant in the poultry industry.

MFA has worked with some of the largest food producers in the world, including Nestlé, Walmart, and Kraft Foods, to implement meaningful animal welfare policies to alleviate much of the animal suffering in their supply chains. There’s no reason Tyson can’t implement such a policy of its own. Click here to sign the petition calling on Tyson to stop torturing chickens.

Remember, as a caring consumer, the best way to help chickens and other farmed animals is simply to stop eating them. Visit to learn more.