New Exposé Uncovers Rampant Violence & Cruelty to Birds at Tyson Foods

Tyson Responds: Cruel Practice Stopped, 10 Employees Fired

August 11, 2016 — Today, Compassion Over Killing (COK) released a shocking new undercover video that reveals egregious acts of violence and abuse at Tyson Foods, the nation’s largest chicken producer.

After viewing this footage, Tyson Foods announced it is immediately ending the cruel and unnecessary practice of stabbing a dull plastic “bone” through the nostrils of male chickens. The company also fired 10 employees.

Filmed by a COK investigator who worked inside several Tyson contract facilities throughout Virginia, the footage offers a shocking, never-before-seen look behind the closed doors of chicken breeding factory farms, known as “broiler breeder” farms. This is where America’s chicken dinner begins.

Despite Tyson’s public “Commitment to Animal Well-Being,” COK’s video documents a hauntingly different story.

Among the most disturbing acts caught on camera is the inhumane killing of birds, including a Tyson supervisor suffocating animals by standing on their heads and instructing workers to do the same, while admitting it’s against company policy and is cruel.

The video also uncovers:

  • Tyson workers punching and kicking live birds
  • Birds crushed to death by transport crates and run over by forklifts
  • Chickens swung around by their wings and thrown across sheds
  • Workers shoving and slamming birds into transport cages

“This level of violence and abuse is so egregious, it violates Virginia state animal protection laws — and it violates consumer trust. Tyson should be held accountable for the horrors inflicted upon these animals,” says Compassion Over Killing Executive Director, Erica Meier. “Tyson, the titan of this industry, is literally crushing the life out of birds.”

Captured for perhaps the first time up close on camera by COK’s investigator is the barbaric practice of “boning.” Performed without pain relief, this practice involves workers grabbing young male breeder birds by their heads and stabbing a dull plastic rod (called a “bone”) through their sensitive nostrils. The wide “bone” is intended to limit the birds’ access to certain food troughs in an effort to curb their growth.

After viewing the footage, poultry welfare expert Dr. Ian Duncan stated, “This is gross cruelty causing unnecessary pain and suffering and a contravention of animal cruelty laws in all civilized countries.”

COK submitted its evidence to relevant county authorities, calling for prompt enforcement action. The cases are currently under investigation.

Based in Arkansas, Tyson is a major supplier to McDonald’s, Burger King, Walmart, KFC, Wendy’s, Chick-Fil-A and other food service giants.

For more details and to view our video, visit:

# # #

Compassion Over Killing (COK) is a nonprofit animal protection organization working to end the abuse of farmed animals through undercover investigations, litigation, corporate outreach, public education, and other advocacy programs.