On August 10, 2016, after Tyson Foods viewed COK’s investigative video exposing Tyson employees engaging in violent acts of abuse against chickens inside several different contract broiler breeder facilities in Virginia, the company issued the following statement at 5:15pm EST
Regarding the Compassion Over Killing video sent to three county attorneys in Virginia last week and finally made available for us to view on Tuesday, the following comments are provided by Dr. Christine Daugherty, vice president of sustainable food production for Tyson Foods:
“I’m disgusted and outraged by what’s shown in this video. We do not tolerate animal abuse and have fired ten people who were members of this crew. It was an obvious decision once we were finally able to review the video Tuesday afternoon.
“The people shown in the video by Compassion Over Killing were all trained in proper animal handling, yet chose to ignore it and failed to alert management about the despicable treatment on these farms.
“Animals in our care deserve to be treated humanely. It’s our responsibility to ensure that everyone who works for our company behaves properly. Our management team is dedicated to continue fostering a culture of proper animal handling.”
In addition to firing these individuals, Tyson Foods is taking the following actions:
- We’re in the process of meeting with everyone in our chicken operations who handles live birds to aggressively re-emphasize the importance of proper animal handling and the consequences of not complying with the company’s animal welfare policies.
- We have already reached out to local authorities who will decide whether to pursue criminal charges against these individuals. We will fully cooperate with their investigation.
- The practice of beak modification shown in the video is a historical way the industry has used to keep males from eating food intended for females and Tyson Foods has been eliminating its use. It had been stopped at all but two chicken operations and now has been immediately discontinued at those two locations as well.
- This week we will conduct a video conference with live production management at all of our poultry locations where senior poultry management will stress our cultural commitment to proper animal handling.
While we already have animal well-being audit and training programs, we believe we haven’t gone far enough and must do more to stop this inexcusable behavior. We’re evaluating additional steps we can take to make sure animal well-being procedures are being followed throughout our chicken operations. Once we complete our investigation into this matter, we intend to implement any measures necessary to protect the well-being of the birds being raised for our company.