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Broilers & Layers / North America / Industry News & Trends / Poultry Welfare
Tyson-beak-modification
Yurii Bukhanovskyi, Bigstock
on August 11, 2016

Tyson Foods to retrain handlers of live poultry

After viewing video depicting mishandling of chickens, Tyson Foods re-emphasizing proper animal welfare procedures

After seeing footage depicting the mishandling of chickens at several of its broiler farms in Virginia, leaders at Tyson Foods are re-emphasizing proper handling procedures with those in the company’s live chicken operations.

In a statement, the company remarked that it will also stress the consequences of not complying with its animal welfare policies. Part of the retraining includes a video conference with live production management at all of its poultry locations.

The video, filmed by animal rights group Compassion Over Killing, was viewed on August 9 by Tyson Foods officials, who are taking corrective action.

“I’m disgusted and outraged by what’s shown in this video,” said Dr. Christine Daugherty, vice president of sustainable food production for Tyson Foods.

“The people shown in the video by Compassion Over Killing were all trained in proper animal handling, yet chose to ignore it and failed to alert management about the despicable treatment on these farms. Animals deserve to be treated humanely. It’s our responsibility to ensure that everyone who works for our company behaves properly. Our management team is dedicated to continue fostering a culture of proper animal handling.”

Ten workers terminated, criminal charges possible

According to Daugherty, 10 workers have now been fired as a result of the mistreatment of chickens. The company had earlier announced that two workers had been terminated, while others were suspended and their fates would be determined after a thorough investigation was completed.

The video was sent to the offices of three county attorneys in Virginia. Tyson Foods, in a statement, said it has already reached out to local authorities, who will decide if criminal charges will be filed against any of the workers linked to the alleged animal abuse. The company further stated that it would fully cooperate with the legal investigations.

Beak modification discontinued

The video also shows the practice of beak modification, a practice that has been historically used to keep males from eating food intended for female birds.

Tyson Foods had already stopped the practice at all but two chicken operations, but now it has immediately discontinued beak modification at all locations.

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