Tyson: Stop Starving Birds
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Tyson Foods keeps its breeder birds perpetually starving and desperate for food. When I started my investigation, I was prepared to see animals forced to live in miserable conditions, but I wasn’t prepared for just how extreme that misery actually is. This is the first time anyone has worked undercover inside a “broiler” chicken breeding factory farm.
The egregious abuses were the most horrifying to witness: Tyson employees kicked, swung, and threw live birds by their wings, violently shoved them into cages, inhumanely and improperly killed them, and even punched or suffocated some animals to death. Workers also ran over birds with forklifts, crushed them with transport cages, and left them to slowly die.
I was also shocked to discover a cruel and painful practice that few people even know about — it’s never before been documented on hidden camera: workers grabbed young male breeder birds by their heads and stabbed dull plastic rods or “bones” through their sensitive nostrils, commonly referred to as “boning.” The wide plastic rods block the birds from fitting their heads inside certain food containers in order to limit what and how much they eat.
The good news is that after watching our investigative footage, Tyson announced that it’s immediately ending this cruel and barbaric practice.
But there’s still a crucial underlying issue that Tyson needs to address about this practice: why was it being done in the first place?
Tyson’s chickens have been genetically manipulated to grow so unnaturally obese so quickly that they often collapse under their own weight and some suffer from heart attacks. With such extreme growth, these birds have developed extreme appetites. However, unlike an average “meat” chicken, who will be slaughtered at less than two months old—before these ailments fully manifest—breeder birds must survive much longer.
Thus, to prevent these breeder birds from growing too big, too quickly, Tyson deliberately starves them -- leaving the birds in a constant state of hunger.
So while Tyson is taking a step in the right direction by ending the cruel practice of “boning,” these birds will continue to starve and suffer until the company stops breeding and raising birds who have been genetically manipulated for fast growth.
The best way we can help birds is to leave them off our plates, but we can also take a stand against cruelty by telling Tyson to stop starving birds!
- Rusty, a Compassion Over Killing undercover investigator
- Tyson Foods
- President and CEO, Tyson Foods
- Senior Director of Public Relations, Tyson Foods
- Public Relations Manager, Corporate Affairs, Tyson Foods
- Chief Customer Officer, Tyson Foods
- Group President, Poultry, Tyson Foods
- Chief Sustainability Officer
Tyson: Stop Starving Birds
After watching Compassion Over Killing’s new undercover video, I was shocked to learn about the suffering forced upon chickens raised for Tyson -- specifically the breeder birds who are selectively bred for extreme growth with insatiable appetites, and who are, at the same time, perpetually starved so they’ll live long enough to breed without succumbing to heart attacks, leg deformities, and other painful conditions.
While it’s encouraging that you’ve committed to ending the cruel practice of “boning” male breeder birds, which was done to limit their food intake, this alone is not enough.
As the titan of the chicken industry, Tyson cannot continue to breed and raise animals who are so genetically unsound that they must be chronically starved just to survive to sexual maturity.
Moreover, as a company that has publicly committed to the “Five Freedoms,” Tyson has already acknowledged the inherent suffering caused by perpetual food deprivation, and must accordingly end the practice of starving its breeder birds. These birds deserve “Freedom from hunger.”
I am writing to urge Tyson Foods to stop starving breeder birds, and the most effective way to address this issue is to stop breeding and raising birds who are genetically manipulated for unnaturally fast growth.
Tyson has the power and responsibility to stop this abuse immediately. As the nation’s largest chicken producer, we ask that you set an example today.
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