An investigation by the US animal protection organisation Animal Outlook of a Virginia chicken breeding facility that produced birds for the meat company giant Tyson Foods has been made public. An undercover investigator worked in the chicken facility for more than two months. Animal Outlook claims that there is enough evidence to prosecute Tyson, America’s largest chicken company. The video shows birds with hideous lesions and severe deformities. The investigator also allegedly uncovered water deprivation which they charge led to birds dying of dehydration, food deprivation when feed was not delivered on schedule and birds being violently mistreated.

Animal Outlook’s Executive Director Cheryl Leahy said to UnchainedTV, “What’s different about this investigation, versus basically any other investigation that we’ve done, is this one shows the clearest connection to Tyson itself in the chicken industry…Those facilities are contract growers and Tyson considered them integrator companies. In our case, we’re asking for criminal prosecutions of both the facility, the manager, and also some others, as well as Tyson as a corporation…From the information that we have though, it seems pretty clear that there are some real systemic problems and Tyson is a major piece of this puzzle. That includes the fact that it was Tyson’s job to deliver the feed, and there were instances where the animals didn’t get feed for over two days…Some of the abuse is not related to the individual facility, but it’s a separate catch crew that’s acting kind of on behalf of Tyson.”

Since the exposé of this facility, Tyson Foods has made statements which seem to distance itself from the facility, but Animal Outlook claims Tyson employees were secretly recorded during the investigation. According to the campaigning organisation, a Tyson employee on-site, the “Broiler Tech Advisor”, oversaw the facility, including animal welfare, and she was in that role for approximately seven years.

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.