Two major food corporations with well-known brands to protect have cut ties with a Tennessee chicken farm that finds itself the latest target of an animal abuse investigation by Los Angeles-based Mercy for Animals. First Tyson Foods Inc., which contracted with the Tennessee farm to raise chickens, and then McDonald’s, which is supplied with chicken by Tyson, announced they would have no more to do with T&S Farm in Dukedom, TN. TandSFarm_405x250That’s where an undercover video produced for Mercy for Animals shows a man clubbing and stabbing chickens using a wooden pole with a large spike attached to the end before standing on the birds’ heads and pulling their bodies to break their necks. The video also shows thousands of chicks bred to grow so fast they became crippled under their own weight, sick and injured animals left to suffer without proper veterinary care, and workers carelessly grabbing fistfuls of chickens and violently slamming them into transport crates — often breaking the birds’ bones in the process. Local law enforcement officials have opened their own investigation of animal abuse at T&S Farm after being provided with the video evidence by Mercy for Animals. In announcing it was cutting business ties with the farm, Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson said the company will not tolerate “the unacceptable animal treatment shown in this video.” Michelson said Tyson believes the abusive handling shown in the video is not typical of its poultry suppliers. With the termination of T&S’s contract with Tyson, no chickens reportedly remain on the farm. McDonald’s also issued a statement supporting Tyson’s decision to terminate T&S, which stated, “We believe treating animals with care and respect is an integral part of a responsible supply chain and find the behavior depicted in this video to be completely unacceptable.” McDonald’s said it would work with Tyson on a follow-up investigation “and reinforce our expectations around animal health and welfare at the farm level.” Mercy for Animals had an undercover investigator working at T&S for about four weeks during July and August. T&S did raise chickens for a Tyson poultry processing plant in Union City, TN, which supplies meat for McDonald’s McNuggets. The animal rights group called on McDonald’s to “swiftly adopt meaningful animal welfare policies to end many of the worst forms of animal abuse and neglect in its supply chain.” “The secret ingredient in McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets is brutal animal abuse,” said MFA President Nathan Runkle. “They are crammed into filthy, windowless sheds, thrown, kicked, and tortured by careless workers, and bred to grow so fast they suffer from painful leg deformities and heart attacks. This is sickening animal abuse no company with morals should support. McDonald’s has not only the power, but also the ethical responsibility, to end the worst forms of cruelty to animals in its supply chain.”

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