Tyson Exposed: New COK Video Uncovers Rampant Violence & Cruelty to Birds
“…you can’t let nobody see that … because it’s inhumane standing on his head and letting him suffocate.”
-Tyson supervisor explains on hidden camera after he killed a bird by stepping on his head
A shocking new undercover video reveals egregious acts of violence and abuse at 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 a COK 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,” 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.
“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
COK’s 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,” 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, COK’s 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.
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.
“This is gross cruelty causing unnecessary pain and suffering and a contravention of animal cruelty laws in all civilized countries.”
-excerpt from expert statement: Ian J.H. Duncan, Emeritus Chair in Animal Welfare at the University of Guelph