A recent article published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution highlights actions being taken to spread the word in Georgia, the world’s poultry capital.
Additional recent coverage includes
Contract poultry farming for companies like Tyson is often referred to as indentured servitude by farmers themselves, since they take on excessive debt, struggle to pay it off, and are forced to compete in a zero-sum tournament system with fellow contract farmers.
"The farmers have almost no control over the most important things in the operation. The farmer has no control over what quality of chicks are delivered to the farm, whether they are healthy or not. The farmer doesn't control what kind of feed is delivered to the farm. So essentially they end up taking orders from a big company like Tyson Foods in the same way a serf might be tied to a lord many, many years ago."
Christopher Leonard,former Associated Press agriculture reporter and author of The Meat Racket
Numerous poultry contract farmers have blown the whistle to expose how the system harms farmers, animals, and consumers, including Craig Watts in North Carolina, whose story of working for Perdue Farms was profiled in The New York Times after he blew the whistle with Leah Garcés, now president of Mercy For Animals.
Rural Advancement Foundation International interviewed many other poultry contract farmers in its groundbreaking documentary film Under Contract.
Tyson has been found guilty of numerous crimes and legal violations and accused of countless others. For instance, the company has been found guilty of environmental destruction, making illegal gifts to the Secretary of Agriculture, and worker safety violations.
Chickens raised for meat—known as “broiler” chickens—endure horrific conditions. They are crowded into windowless sheds by the tens of thousands and have been bred for such unnaturally large and rapid growth that they often can’t walk without pain.
Tyson is the largest meat supplier in the United States and supplies McDonald’s with most of its chicken. Mercy For Animals has conducted four undercover investigations into Tyson chicken facilities, and each time we’ve documented animal abuse. Both Tyson and McDonald’s have been found guilty of various crimes and violations, and we want to find out what else they might be hiding. That’s where ChickieLeaks.com comes in.
McDonald’s is the largest fast-food chain in the world and purchases hundreds of millions of chickens annually in the United States alone. Despite its enormous power, McDonald’s is falling behind many of its largest competitors on broiler chicken welfare. More than 120 food companies, including Burger King and Subway, have taken steps to address the most-pressing broiler chicken welfare concerns by adopting a set of minimum welfare standards. McDonald’s has not.
A campaign is currently underway asking McDonald’s to catch up and adopt a comprehensive animal welfare policy. Visit McDonaldsCruelty.com to learn more and take action.