Animal rights activists said that Tyson Foods, which raises chickens in Virginia, mistreated some animals by letting them go without food and water.
Tyson claims it severed ties with this farm in January, after discovering animal welfare problems on its own.
Animal Outlook said that from August to Novembre of last year, it sent an undercover investigator to Jannat Farm. The investigator observed as 150,000 chicks were raised until they were slaughter-ready. The group also documented physical abuse, filthy conditions and instances of chickens going without food for up to 52-hours.
The Associated Press was unable to locate a contact on the farm. A spokesperson for Springdale-based Tyson condemned the conditions Animal Outlook documented on video and photos taken at the farm. The company terminated its contract with this farm because they didn't meet Tyson's standards of animal welfare.
Derek Burleson, a spokesman for Tyson Foods, said that since January 2023 no Tyson Foods poultry has been grown on the farm. The farmer also no longer holds a contract with Tyson Foods. We have a commitment to animal welfare, humane treatment, and proper handling in our supply chain.
Cheryl Leahy, Executive Director of Animal Outlook, said Tyson had to have been aware sooner about the abuse because the farm was raising chickens for meat producers for at least seven year and had a company manager overseeing the operations. Tyson also was responsible for the delivery of feed that chickens were without for over two days. The investigator for the group also captured video of farm workers kicking and throwing chickens, and at least in one instance ripping off the heads of chickens.
Leahy stated that there was no excuse. The daily suffering of these bird is palpable on each video. Tyson continues to deliver birds year after year.
Leahy believes Tyson may have terminated its contract with the farm due to Tyson's decision this spring to close a nearby processing plant, and not because of concerns about animal welfare.
Animal Outlook also found that this farm did not follow biosecurity best practices to prevent the spread disease. This is despite an ongoing bird flu epidemic that has led officials to kill nearly 59,000,000 chickens and turkeys in order to stop the virus spreading.
Animal Outlook reported that workers did not sanitize boots with bleach before entering barns. Some of the buildings also had openings which could have allowed wild animals inside. Bird flu is spread mainly by wild bird droppings as they pass farms.
Animal rights group says its investigator found bugs and rats in chicken feed.