McDonald’s Corp. cut off ties on Thursday with a Tennessee farm where workers were seen stabbing, stomping, and beating on chickens. Animal rights activists captured the horrific images on video. Tyson Foods supplies poultry meat to McDonald’s for its Chicken McNuggets and they joined the fast-food giant in severing ties with the food supplier, as well.
Animal rights advocacy group Mercy For Animals unveiled a video at a news conference in Los Angeles, depicting gruesome animal cruelty toward the chicken at T&S Farm in Dukedom, Tennessee; a chicken farm under contract to Tyson Foods.
Mercy For Animals cites how chicken are raised for McDonald’s and Tyson Foods.
“Birds raised for McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets have been bred to grow so quickly they frequently become crippled under their own weight. Unable to walk without extreme pain, many die of dehydration when they can’t reach water. Others die from heart attacks, organ failure, and other problems related to rapid growth. Overcrowding in filthy factory farms also leads to severe skin and throat irritations, blindness, and deadly respiratory problems.”
The animal rights advocate group adds what workers at T&S Farm did.
“At this McDonald’s McNugget supplier — a Tyson Foods contract farm in Tennessee — sick and injured birds, or those who are simply too small to make a profit, are violently beaten to death with spiked clubs or have their heads stepped on and their necks broken by the callous farm owners. Those who survive the wretched factory farm conditions are grabbed by their legs, wings, and necks and slammed into transport crates bound for the slaughterhouse.”
However, Tyson spokesperson, Worth Sparkman, said the following in a written statement.
“Animal well-being is a priority at our company and we will not tolerate the unacceptable animal treatment shown in this video. Members of our animal well-being team are investigating; however, based on what we currently know, we are terminating the farmer’s contract to grow chickens for us.”
McDonald’s added in a statement that the company supported Tyson’s decision and “find the behavior depicted in this video to be completely unacceptable.”
McDonald’s commented on the steps that they are taking while working with Tyson to investigate the situation further.
“We’re committed to working with animal welfare and industry experts to inform our policies that promote better management, strong employee education, and verification of practices.”
According to a report by The Guardian, an investigator for the Weakley County Sheriff’s Office said the agency had opened an investigation into the farm and was working with prosecutors.
Mercy For Animals says this type of horrific treatment to animals is commonplace in the poultry industry.
“As shocking as it is, this type of cruelty and neglect is common in the poultry industry. There are no federal laws to protect chickens during their lives on factory farms, and most states specifically exclude chickens from anti-cruelty laws. All of this means that McDonald’s McNugget suppliers are able to routinely get away with torturing millions of animals to death every year.”
On Thursday, representatives for T&S Farm could not be reached for comment.
[Featured image via HuffPost Taste]