The video, which is rapidly going viral, was filmed by a Tyson’s employee and posted today (Oct. 28) by an organization called Mercy For Animals.
It’s been campaigning for some time now to force the corporate food processor to adopt more humane ways to slaughter animals. The chickens eventually end up in McDonald’s, KFC and your local supermarket.
So far, its success has been limited. But the latest video, shot in a Carthage, Mississippi plant, has finally shocked the company into action.
Tyson’s issued a statement shortly after the video was posted, which IM received over Twitter. Instead of trying to beat its critics, it’s joining them, according to the statement.
“We’re appalled by the actions shown in this video and have been investigating a claim of animal mistreatment in this area of the plant since late last week,” the company said.
Amid the flying chicken heads, which are sliced off conveyor belt style, the company is also chopping employees who are pictured in the video. At least two workers, so far, have been fired for violating company policies on animal handling.
The company added:
We believe proper animal handling is an important moral and ethical obligation. Everyone who works with live animals in our plants – including the person who secretly shot this video – is trained in proper animal handling and instructed to immediately report anything they believe is inappropriate. Workers are encouraged to report bad behavior to their supervisor as well as the Tyson Foods compliance and ethics hotline.
Mercy For Animals has filed a misdemeanor criminal complaint with local authorities. But so far the company has not been hit by criminal charges, the company noted.
In the video, Bergen, who is best known for her hit television show “Murphy Brown,” introduces and narrates the scenes.
“If you eat chicken from Tyson Foods you may unknowingly be supporting some of the worst animal abuse imaginable,” she says.
Chickens are shackled upside down, get their throats slit and have their heads torn off, all while they’re still alive, she explains.
“Desensitized to violence, poorly trained and unsupervised workers routinely torment the frightened birds,” she adds. “The fast pace of the slaughter line leads to careless handling by workers, who frequently break the legs and wings of the fragile birds.”
The mass, mechanized slaughter is revolting enough even when it’s being operated according to policy. But watching employees, who are bathed in spattered chicken blood, slam and toss the hapless birds around is beyond the pale.
Something to think about next time you order chicken McNuggets.