Tyson Responds To Mercy For Animals Video Allegedly Showing Abuse At Chicken Farm

Mercy for Animals — an animal rights whistleblowing organization known for exposing abusive farm animal welfare practices — just published a video exposing a Tyson chicken supplier farm allegedly abusing chickens in deplorable conditions.  The video depicts chickens covered in flies, being thrown into heaps, and being kicked by farm workers. The organization said that they showed the conditions at the factory farm to a group of veterinarians, who described the scene as "violent," "inhumane," "unacceptable," and "a worst-case scenario."

The Daily Meal contacted Tyson for a statement on the matter, and a spokesperson said: "Animal well-being is a top priority for us. We do not tolerate improper animal treatment and take claims of animal abuse very seriously. We are investigating this matter." Tyson also stated that the company offered to meet with Mercy for Animals to discuss the content of the video, but they refused, choosing instead to hold a press conference.

Mercy for Animals claims that the birds are bred so quickly that they often suffer heart attacks or suffocate under their own weight. "Thousands of birds died every day from the diseased and unsanitary conditions," the press release says.

Tyson explained to us that the video in question, which was shot last spring, actually depicts birds that were sick with a respiratory illness, so that the treatment depicted is actually "atypical" of how their farmers are supposed to treat the animals. Tyson also confirmed that this was not a food safety issue.