Tyson Workers Caught Torturing Birds, Urinating on Slaughter Line
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Tyson Workers Caught Torturing Birds, Urinating on Slaughter Line

Submitted by Kinship Circle

 1. Sample Letter * 2. Contacts * 3. Sources & Information * 4. Further Reading

SAMPLE LETTER -- This letter is prepared to inform you about the issue.
Try to shorten and personalize your letter before sending.


Ladies and Gentlemen:

I respectfully ask KFC, Yum! Brands and Tyson Foods, to do more to alleviate suffering for millions of chickens raised and slaughtered for human consumption.

Recent allegations depict gratuitous cruelty at Tyson slaughterhouses in Union City, Tennessee and Cumming, Georgia. This is not the first time animal abuse has been documented at a KFC supplier. A 2004 videotape exposed employees of Pilgrim's Pride twisting off the heads of live chickens. At the Moorefield, West Virginia plant, workers spat tobacco into the birds' eyes and mouths, spray-painted faces, and crushed them against walls.

A 2004/2005 investigation at a Heflin, Alabama Tyson slaughterhouse revealed more animal mistreatment. Now, 2007 footage of Tyson kill floors shows birds impaled, beaten, beheaded and violently thrust into shackles.

Supervisors at the Georgia and Tennessee facilities apparently engaged in abuse or were informed about it. One told a worker it was okay to tear off chickens' heads who'd been clumsily shackled by their necks instead of legs. When birds died because their heads and legs became ensnared under a door at the end of a conveyer belt, a supervisor ignored the problem.

Most consumers would be appalled to know automated blades often slice birds' bodies rather than throats. Yet a supervisor cognizant of these mutilations accepted them as a side effect of an imperfect machine. A worker confessed to bashing a chicken against a rail until he shattered the bird's back. A back-up killer was observed knifing birds in their neck areas.

This is blatant violence. I call upon Tyson Foods to fire employees implicated in animal abuse. Please monitor all kills floors and hang areas via video camera and employ your own undercover investigators to report cruelty. At the very least, Tyson, Yum! Brands and KFC ought to advocate "controlled-atmosphere killing," a less agonizing mode of slaughter.

I urge Tyson to enforce animal protection guidelines and KFC to better supervise its suppliers. In fact, KFC and its owner Yum! Brands, should require Tyson and other suppliers to crack down on cruelty.

Until measurable strides are taken to administer these improvements, I will ask friends, family and colleagues to not spend money on your companies.

Thank you,


   Gary Mickelson, Tyson Spokesperson
    Tyson Foods, Inc.    
    2210 W. Oaklawn Dr. * Springdale, Arkansas 72762-6999
    ph: 479-290-6111; email: [email protected]
    SOURCE: http://www.tyson.com/Corporate/PressRoom/

    John Tyson, Chair And CEO
    Tyson Foods, Inc.
    2210 W. Oaklawn Dr. * Springdale, Arkansas 72762-6999    
    corporate web mail: http://www.tyson.com/Corporate/Contact.aspx

    Michelle Johns, Tyson Food Service Concierge
    ph: 1-800-24-TYSON (1-800-248-9766)    
    email: [email protected]
    consumer web mail: http://www.tyson.com/FoodService/Contact.aspx

KFC CORPORATION (Customer of Tyson Foods)
    KFC Corporate (for comments)
    P.O. Box 725489 * Atlanta, GA 31139    
    Customer Satisfaction Numbers: (U.S.) 1-800-225-5532; (Canada) 1-866-664-5696
    web mail: http://www.kfc.com/contact/default.asp
    SOURCE: http://www.kfc.com/contact/default.asp

    KFC Corporation
    1441 Gardiner Lane * Louisville, Kentucky 40213
     ph: 502-874-8300

    Laurie Schalow, KFC Spokeswoman
    ph: 502-874-8100; email: [email protected]

YUM! BRANDS, INC. (Owns KFC and other fast food chains)
   David Novak, Chairman, President, and CEO
    Yum! Brands * 1441 Gardiner Lane * Louisville, KY 40213
    ph: 502-874-8300; fax: 502-874-8790

    Peter Bassi, Chair, YUM! Restaurants International
    14841 Dallas Parkway * Dallas TX, 75254

    Yum! Brands Restaurant Support Center
    1900 Colonel Sanders Lane * Louisville, KY 40213
     ph: 502-874-8300
     web mail: http://www.yum.com/contact/Checkage.asp
     SOURCE: http://www.yum.com/


Tyson Workers Caught Torturing Birds, Urinating on Slaughter Line

PETA Investigative Footage Shot At Two Tyson Plants, Fall 2007

PETA Investigative Video At Alabama Tyson Slaughterplant, 2005

Tyson Probes PETA Claim

USDA Investigates Animal Abuse Claims At Tyson Plant

Further Reading:
* Stop Farming Animals For Food
* Animal Rights Activism

 Update - Feb. 15, 2008:

Tyson fires workers embroiled in chicken torture

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 02/15/08
Tyson Foods has fired several workers at chicken slaughterhouses in Cumming and in Union City, Tenn., in the wake of a federal investigation of animal cruelty charges, the company said this week.
Tyson also is stepping up management surveillance of areas where live chickens are handled and retraining workers, according to a statement from spokesman Gary Mickelson. The Springdale, Ark.-based company disciplined other workers. He declined to say how many employees had been fired.
The company is conducting an internal investigation of allegations made by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which sent an undercover investigator into the plants last fall.
The group, which promotes vegetarianism and animal welfare, notified the federal agriculture department of its concerns in mid-January, and posted video shot by its investigator online.
Both the agriculture department and Tyson said investigations are ongoing. The USDA has referred a concern about animal handling at the Union City, Tenn. plant to that state's agriculture department. The state veterinarian is reviewing the information, said Tom Womack, a spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.
There is no federal regulation governing humane handling of poultry, as there is for cattle and pork. But there are guidelines for good commercial practices for handling food animals that federal investigators are eyeing. Those would be actions that minimize excitement, discomfort or stress, says Amanda Eamich, a USDA spokeswoman.
"We did find some issues that were not considered to be good commercial practices, that fall outside our regulatory authority," Eamich said. "In one of those cases, we did refer the matter to appropriate state officials and notified plant management of our concern. The expectation in every case is that they be immediately addressed."
Tyson's investigation found that some activities shown in the PETA video warranted corrective action, while others were misrepresented because the birds had already been stunned and were unconscious, Mickelson said.
The video appeared to show workers throwing chickens and urinating on the plant floor , among other activities. Mickelson said Tyson's check found no evidence of any food safety concerns.
PETA is calling for Tyson and KFC, which uses Tyson as a supplier, to hire investigators to prevent incidents.


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