Two employees at a Tyson Foods poultry processing plant in Carthage, Miss. have been fired after undercover video footage showed workers punching and throwing chickens.
The Mississippi Clarion-Ledger reports that Mercy for Animals filed a misdemeanor complaint in Leake County Justice Court on Tuesday that members hope will lead to 33 counts of animal cruelty against Tyson Foods Inc. and six slaughterhouse workers, according to general counsel Vandhana Bala.
Mercy for Animals also stated that the footage showed live birds having their throats cut or heads ripped out, while others were tortured deliberately by employees. In addition to persuing criminal charges, the group called for Tyson to “adopt meaningful animal welfare policies” including “ending live shackle slaughter systems.”
Tyson Foods responded to the allegations in a statement, saying, “We’re appalled by the actions shown in this video and have been investigating a claim of animal mistreatment in this area of the plant since late last week. We have already terminated two of the workers shown in the video, who were clearly in violation of the company’s animal handling policy. Mercy for Animals has reportedly submitted a misdemeanor complaint with county officials over this matter, however, to our knowledge no criminal charges have been filed by any government agency.”