On September 14, 2015, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) released undercover footage revealing animal abuse inside a Tyson Food slaughter plant located in Carthage, Texas. ALDF alleges this is a system that allows the exploitation of “both workers and animals.” According to an ALDF news release, Stephen Wells, ALDF Executive Director commented, “Our Investigation proves that the cruel treatment of chickens by Tyson foods are not isolated incidents, but a systematic, companywide problem.”
According to the ALDF news release, ALDF has “filed three complaints against Tyson Foods with three different government agencies.” First, it has filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). ALDF is arguing the food safety regulations contained in the Poultry Products Inspection Act which were violated by Tyson by their “inhuman animal handling practices and food safety violations.” Second, ALDF filed with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) stating Tyson’s line speed is unrealistic and is creating unsafe working conditions for employees as well as harming animal welfare and violating food safety regulations. Finally, ALDF filed with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for “overstating the priority it puts on animal welfare in corporate and investor materials.” ALDF has also asked the Attorney General of the State of Delaware, where Tyson was incorporated, to investigate and sanction Tyson.
This is not the first investigation into Tyson Foods alleged mistreatment of animals. Back in August, 2015, Tyson dropped a Tennessee contract farm where individuals were videotaped beating chickens with a stick and stomping on them in an undercover investigation conducted by the group Mercy For Animals.
According to Food Safety News, Tyson issued a media report stating the employees at the plants are trained to report inappropriate behavior and can report to numerous individuals. Tyson stated there was no record of any violations reported during the time the video was shot. This is the extent that Tyson has commented on the video and any alleged abuses reported by ALDF.