Tyson is no stranger to criticism from animal-rights activists and factory-farm critics. After yet another video depicting animal abuse in its facilities was released, the company announced yesterday that it would retrain all of its poultry workers in animal-welfare practices. This announcement came in advance of the public release today of a video secretly filmed by animal-rights group Compassion Over Killing.
Unsurprisingly, the video is unpleasant to watch: Workers are caught abusing animals at several Virginia farms, with one worker stepping on a chicken’s head to suffocate it.
This video is the fifth to be released within the last 13 months by activists who got into Tyson facilities. Tyson had reacted to previous videos by condemning the behavior, while arguing that the abusive workers did not accurately demonstrate the company’s commitment to animal welfare. But this time, in addition to the commitment to retraining, Tyson fired ten workers seen in the video and says it will stop the process of inserting tubes into roosters’ beaks.
Tyson has also released a statement saying that “we believe we haven’t gone far enough and must do more,” and that the company will now “aggressively re-emphasize the importance of proper animal handling” in meetings with individual employees. Compassion Over Killing, meanwhile, says it has filed formal complaints about abuse in the Virginia counties where these instances occurred. No charges have been filed, but a Tyson spokesperson also says the company has been in touch with local authorities.