Tyson Foods, the world’s largest protein processor and McDonald’s supplier of chicken for its Chicken McNuggets, decided to terminate contract with a Tennessee-based poultry farm after a covert video made by animal welfare advocates showed the farm’s workers abused dying and ill chickens.
The video was released by Mercy For Animals during a press meeting in Los Angeles. The poultry grower was identified as T&S Farm from Dukedom, TN. Activists captured on tape how the farm’s employees stomped on, clubbed, and stabbed ill chickens.
Tyson Foods was commissioned by McDonald’s to create the recipe for Chicken McNuggets. The recipe was ready in 1979 and was first introduced in the U.S. four years later.
T&S Farm declined to provide any comment.
A spokesperson for Tyson said that his company won’t tolerate the type of animal cruelty shown in the recently released video. The company also said that animal welfare is one of its top priorities.
Tyson’s own animal welfare experts are currently investigating the issue, but in the meantime the meat processing giant decided to cut ties with the Tennessee grower. Investigators reported, however, that they found no chicken at the farm.
McDonald’s told reporters that it would back Tyson’s decision to terminate any business relationship with the farm. The fats-food restaurant chain also described the animal abuse shown in the video as “completely unacceptable.”
McDonald’s also said that it would cooperate with its chicken supplier on the ongoing investigation, while it would team up with animal rights advocates and industry experts to promote employee training, better management, and constant checks at its business partner’s work facilities.
The Weakley County Sheriff’s Office also announced that there is an ongoing investigation into the poultry grower.
The video which is a mix of separate events recorded at the farm over the course of three weeks shows employees stomping on chickens’ necks, caging them in really tight places, and beating them with a long stick with a sharp spike attached at one of its ends.
While repeatedly clubbing the chickens, one employee asks the man who secretly records the situation whether he is working for PETA or not. Nathan Runkle the head of the animal rights group noted that their video came too late since for five straight years Tyson gave T&S Farm Grower of the Year award. The farm usually grew more than 120,000 birds.
On the other hand, Tyson declined giving the facility an award in the last five years. It said that the last time they handed T&S Farm an award was in 2008.
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