Complaints Filed After Tyson Foods Undercover Investigation

Following the release of an Animal Legal Defense Fund undercover investigation inside a Tyson Foods, Inc. slaughter plant, we then submitted complaints about Tyson’s illegal practices to three federal agencies.


September 30, 2015

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In September 2015, the Animal Legal Defense Fund released undercover video footage from inside a Tyson Foods, Inc. slaughter plant in Carthage, Texas, documenting a system that exploits both workers and animals. This video followed the release of another undercover video at a Tyson Foods slaughterhouse, in July 2015.

We then asked the Attorney General of the State of Delaware, where Tyson Foods is incorporated, to investigate and sanction the company. Additionally, we filed complaints against Tyson Foods with three different government agencies.

The first complaint was filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), concerning Tyson’s inhumane animal handling practices, including allowing hundreds of chickens to suffocate on repeatedly malfunctioning equipment, and food safety violations, including the slaughter of already-dead birds.

The second complaint was filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), citing unsafe working conditions for employees, including repetitive motion stress injuries and inadequate protective gear that allowed chicken feces and feathers to get into workers’ eyes and mouths while workers attempted to hang chickens on the slaughter line at breakneck speed.

Our third complaint was filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), accusing Tyson Foods of misleading socially-conscious investors about its animal welfare and worker safety practices.

In September 2016 we sent a follow-up request to the SEC, which was routed to the agency’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy for further review.

When the agencies failed to act on our complaints, the Animal Legal Defense Fund called for regulatory reforms to fix the unsafe and inhumane chicken slaughtering model illustrated by Tyson’s slaughterhouse. We will continue to advocate against high-speed slaughter that inflicts suffering on chickens.

No federal laws govern how farmed animals are raised and most state cruelty laws exempt standard agricultural practices.

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