pilgrim's corp

Abuse Exposed at Factory Farm, Supplier to Pilgrim’s Corp

Pilgrim’s is the world’s second-largest chicken producer, supplying food to Chick-fil-A and others

For Immediate Release: June 26, 2014

Media Contacts: Erica Meier at 202-270-8253 or emeier@cok.net

Washington, DC — Today, the national animal protection organization Compassion Over Killing released a shocking new undercover video showing live chickens being dumped and buried alive at a North Carolina chicken factory that supplies Pilgrim’s Corp. (formerly Pilgrim’s Pride), the second-largest chicken producer in the world. Pilgrim’s Corp is a supplier to Chick-fil-A and other major chains.

Workers, including the facility owner, were caught on camera throwing around sick, injured, or otherwise unwanted birds, cramming them into buckets with dead and decaying corpses, and then dumping these still-living animals into an outdoor mass grave where they were left to suffer and die from starvation, dehydration, and possibly even suffocation.

The footage also sheds light on typical day-to-day cruelties commonplace on US factory farms — where billions of chickens are confined each year — cruelties that few people have seen before and that the chicken industry keeps hidden from Americans.

Packed by the tens of thousands into dark, filthy warehouse-like sheds, these birds have been genetically manipulated to grow so obese so quickly that they often collapse under their own weight. They endure painful and debilitating leg deformities, and some birds even suffer sudden heart attacks, casually called “flip-over disease” by the industry.

“Day in and day out, these animals endure absolute misery. If dogs or cats were subjected to the same abuses as chickens, it would lead to criminal prosecution,” said Erica Meier, COK’s executive director. “While we’re hopeful that local authorities are taking this case seriously, we can start preventing animal abuse right now, simply by choosing to leave chickens off our plates.”

COK has turned over evidence to local authorities requesting the filing of criminal charges of cruelty to animals based on the violent and egregious acts of abuse caught on film, such as burying birds alive in mass graves.

Headquartered in Greeley, Colorado, Pilgrim’s Corp. is a subsidiary of Brazil-based JBS, the world’s largest meat processing company. In addition to the retail market, Pilgrim’s is a supplier to several foodservice chains, including Chick-fil-A, which recently overtook KFC as the leading chicken chain in the US.

For more information, including investigative footage and photos, visit ChickenIndustry.com.


Compassion Over Killing (COK) is a national nonprofit animal protection organization based in Washington, DC. Since 1995, COK has worked to end the abuse of animals in agriculture through undercover investigations, public outreach, litigation, and other advocacy programs. Online at COK.net.