Heartwrenching undercover footage exposes shocking abuse of birds at a Virginia factory farm supplying Tyson Foods, the nation’s largest chicken producer.
A shocking undercover video reveals egregious acts of violence and abuse at a factory farm supplying Tyson Foods, the nation’s largest chicken producer, that prompted the company to immediately end the cruel practice of “boning.” Tyson also fired 10 employees, stated it was “disgusted and outraged by what’s shown in this video” and acknowledged that “we must do more to stop this inexcusable behavior.” Read Tyson’s full statement.
Filmed by an Animal Outlook investigator who worked inside several Tyson 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,” including the “internationally-recognized Five Freedoms,” our 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.
“This ain’t the right way to do it now, but he bloody, get all over my gloves. But you can’t let nobody see you doing this, ‘cause it will get you terminated…it’s got him suffering doing this to him…”
-Tyson supervisor says on hidden camera while he’s killing a bird by stepping on his head
Tyson Investigation Photos
Our undercover video also reveals:
- 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. Tyson, the titan of this industry, is literally crushing the life out of birds.
Captured for perhaps the first time up close on camera, our investigator also documented the brutal and unnecessary practice of “boning” — a practice only used in the broiler breeder industry. Performed without pain relief, “boning” 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’ food intake in order to curb their growth.
We submitted our 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.
Tyson Torture Exposed: Take Action for Chickens
Our investigators shine a bright light on the brutal treatment of farmed animals kept hidden behind the closed doors of animal agribusiness.
Sadly, the abuses documented at Tyson are not isolated incidents. Tyson has been exposed for animal abuse before, and such treatment is rampant in the chicken industry.
Thankfully, there are simple steps YOU — and each one of us — can take to make a difference for farmed animals.
Pledge to choose vegan foods
Each time you sit down to a vegan meal, you are standing up for birds and all animals. Take our seven-day VegPledge to get started on your vegan journey.
Thank our brave investigators
Our investigators are true heroes in every sense of the word — yet because of the nature of their jobs, they must keep their names and faces away from the spotlight. You can send a message to our investigators, letting them know how much you appreciate their painstaking work, bravery, and dedication to building a kinder world: