Undercover Investigation Exposes Systemic Animal Cruelty At Jannat Farm, Which Is Contracted By Tyson Foods

Yesterday, Animal Outlook released the results of an undercover investigation documenting systemic animal cruelty at Jannat Farm, which is contracted by Tyson Foods to raise chickens for their meat.

Animal Outlook maintains that Tyson was aware of cruel conditions and practices at a facility it had contracted with for at least seven years, but did not take action. Instead, Tyson repeatedly sent new flocks of birds to the facility, including a flock of 150,000 chickens at the outset of Animal Outlook’s investigation. Despite Tyson’s marketing claims about “animal welfare,” this demonstrates what activists have long argued: that cruelty and suffering are not exceptions in animal agriculture, they are the rule.

Meanwhile, Tyson is reportedly stating that the company had cut ties with Jannat Farm in January after uncovering animal welfare issues there.

“Yet again, a Tyson contractor has been exposed for abysmal conditions and practices. There is absolutely no excuse,” Cheryl Leahy, Executive Director of Animal Outlook, said in a statement. “The day-to-day suffering of these birds is palpable in each of the videos. Still, Tyson delivered birds, year after year. That is why this investigation is so important. It leaves no question that cruelty in animal agriculture is not limited to isolated incidents, it is systemic.”

“We can’t have a legal system that works if billion-dollar companies can profit from systemic cruelty and operate outside the law,” concluded Leahy.

As per the organization, the investigator worked undercover for more than two months, documenting specific acts of violence, such as workers kicking and throwing birds, and widespread abysmal conditions. Footage shows ill, injured, and deformed birds left to suffer, sometimes for days; food and water deprivation; bug-infested feed and rat corpses; and violations of biosecurity protocols amidst a bird flu outbreak. Many young birds were unable to reach the water lines, leaving them to jump helplessly for water. Food ran out in the chicken houses multiple times. Because Tyson did not replenish feed, birds were without food for an estimated 52 hours. Dead chickens were left to decay in and around feed trays and inside the chicken houses. The Tyson representative also revealed that Tyson does not customarily implement biosecurity measures in the area of Jannat Farm, but had done so due to the avian influenza outbreak. Even so, the protocol was ignored by those at the facility and Tyson did not enforce it.

The investigation also reveals that Tyson’s employee, the owner of the facility, and the manager of the facility, were fully aware of the conditions. Among other documentation, the investigator captured footage of the manager stating that the Tyson representative knows the facility is in poor condition and that the owner is worried it will get shut down. The facility manager shares that the Tyson representative has never taken any action, so he is not concerned. In another clip, the Tyson representative admits that Tyson cares more about facilities if there is competition in their surrounding area.

Animal Outlook claims that the conditions and practices at the facility rise to the level of criminal animal cruelty and is pressing for charges against a number of potential defendants, including Tyson, Jannat Farm, the facility owner, and the facility manager.

Tyson is the largest chicken company in the United States and markets itself on its website as upholding a “moral and ethical obligation” of “proper animal handling” and claims that “caring about animals is inherent to who Tyson is as a company.” It claims to have “zero tolerance for animal abuse.” It purports to have an Animal Welfare Advisory Panel and programs, including audits, to enforce its supposed commitment to the humane treatment of animals.

This is not the first time a Tyson-contracted facility has been exposed for animal cruelty, including twice before by Animal Outlook, in 2016 and 2017. Other animal protection organizations have also conducted exposés of animal cruelty on Tyson-contracted facilities.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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