An animal rights group captured the disturbing torture of chickens at a Tyson Foods factory farm near Wilmington, Delaware — seen in the graphic video below.
In the video, Tyson workers are seen clubbing chickens to death, breaking their necks, and leaving sick birds to suffer alone and ultimately die.
“Tyson Foods is literally torturing chickens to death,” Mercy For Animals President Nathan Runkle said in a press release. “They are crammed into filthy, windowless sheds, thrown, kicked, and brutalized by careless workers, and bred to grow so fast they suffer from painful leg deformities and heart attacks. This is sickening 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.”
Mercy For Animals claims in the video that 52,000 birds reportedly died at McGinnis Farms, the Dagsboro, Delaware, farm where the video was filmed.
Tyson Farms Vice President Dr. Christine Daugherty subsequently responded to the controversy once the video began circulating online.
“Animal well-being is a top priority for us,” Daugherty said. “We will not tolerate animal abuse and take claims like this very seriously…. We have policies in place to help protect our animals. This includes the Tyson Farm Check program. This program involves third party auditors who go on the farm to check for things such as animal access to food and water, our human animal interaction, and worker training.”
Tyson Foods later released an official statement addressing the claims.
“Our farmers work hard to raise healthy birds,” the statement read. “However, sometimes chickens — just like people — get sick. At the time the video was shot this past spring, this farm had birds that were sick with a respiratory illness. As a result, what was shown in the video is not typical for this or any other farm. It was also not a food safety issue.”
The company said they would be open to meeting with Mercy For Animals to discuss the matter.
Watch the disturbing footage below.