Tyson Foods has terminated its contract with poultry grower T&S Poultry after a video circulated by animal rights group Mercy for Animals circulated a video depicting alleged chicken abuse at its farm in Dukedom, Tennessee.
The video shows footage of people clubbing chickens and stabbing them with a pole with a spike attached to the end, as well as breaking birds’ necks by standing on their heads and pulling their bodies. There is no mention of T&S Poultry in the video, but Mercy for Animals does identify Tyson Foods and McDonald’s, a restaurant chain that purchases poultry products from Tyson.
“Animal well-being is a priority at our company and we will not tolerate the unacceptable animal treatment shown in this video. We’re especially concerned about the inappropriate methods used to euthanize sick and injured chickens,” Tyson Foods said in a statement.
Tyson Foods’ animal well-being team is investigating the alleged abuse, but the company confirmed it did terminate the farm’s contract based on what is currently known. No chickens are currently on the farm.
Tyson Foods stressed its commitment to animal well-being, and said it does not believe the video accurately depicts the treatment of chickens raised by the thousands of other growers contracted by Tyson Foods.
“Our company has programs and policies in place to protect the health and well-being of all our animals. This includes the Tyson FarmCheck program that involves third-party auditors who check on the farm for such things as animal access to food and water, human-animal interaction and worker training. We also have veterinary-approved procedures in place for euthanizing sick or injured birds,” the company stated.