CARTHAGE, Miss., Oct. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Tyson Foods Inc. and six of its slaughterhouse workers face 33 counts of criminal animal cruelty after being caught on hidden camera violently punching, throwing, and maliciously torturing animals for fun. The covert footage, recorded by an undercover investigator with Mercy For Animals, was released yesterday at www.TysonTorturesAnimals.com. Among other disturbing abuses, the hidden-camera video shows improperly shackled chickens missing the kill blade and having their heads ripped off while they are still conscious and able to feel pain.
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The video, narrated by Emmy Award-winning actress Candice Bergen, was shot at Tyson Foods' slaughterhouse just outside of Carthage, Mississippi—one of the largest, if not the largest, poultry slaughterhouses in the entire world—and reveals a culture of sadistic animal cruelty and needless suffering, including the following:
- Workers punching, throwing, beating, pushing, and otherwise tormenting frightened animals for fun
- Birds painfully shocked with electricity but remaining fully conscious when their throats are cut open
- Improperly shackled birds getting their heads ripped off while they are still alive and conscious
- Chickens dumped on top of each other on a conveyor belt, causing many to suffocate under the weight of other birds
This is the third undercover investigation by MFA since July 2015 exposing ongoing and systemic animal abuse in Tyson Foods' poultry supply chain. Despite the fact that chickens account for more than 95 percent of the animals killed for food in the U.S., they are excluded from the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. Absent legislation mandating humane treatment of chickens, MFA is calling on Tyson Foods to implement meaningful animal welfare requirements for all of its company-owned and contract farms and slaughterhouses.
Specifically, MFA is calling on 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 systems, already approved for use by the USDA, workers never handle live birds. This removes any chance of malicious animal abuse by workers and ensures that no animals have their heads ripped off while fully conscious or are scalded alive in feather-removal tanks—something the USDA reports happens to as many as a million birds per year in the U.S.
"Torturing animals to death is business as usual at Tyson Foods," said MFA's president, Nathan Runkle. "Every time our investigators enter Tyson facilities they document sickening cruelty, including workers punching, kicking, stabbing, and ripping the heads off of live animals. This is horrific animal abuse no company with morals should support. Tyson Foods has not only the power, but also the ethical responsibility to end the worst forms of cruelty to animals in its supply chain."
To view the undercover video, visit www.TysonTorturesAnimals.com.
SOURCE Mercy For Animals