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Sadistic Cruelty Alleged in Chicken Slaughterhouse: PETA Calls for Prosecution of KFC Supplier

Formal Complaint, Whistleblower Claims Deliberate Torture of Birds at Tyson Plant

Based on a chilling eyewitness account of sadistic torture and routine cruelty at a Tyson chicken slaughterhouse in Grannis, Arkansas, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is calling for prosecution of Tyson Foods and five of its employees on charges of cruelty to animals.

Virgil Butler, a Tyson slaughterhouse employee for more than eight years, contacted PETA to alert the group to the extreme animal abuse that he says he witnessed, including blowing birds apart with dry-ice bombs, intentionally scalding them to death by the hundreds, and breaking the legs of large chickens in order to fit them into shackles that were too small.

Tyson Foods is the top supplier of chickens to KFC, against which PETA launched an international campaign in January 2003 in an effort to persuade the company to eliminate the worst animal abuses.

“KFC assured us that it would ‘raise the bar’ on animal welfare, and yet we find that its key supplier is now accused of horrendous cruelty to animals. We want cameras in all KFC and Tyson slaughterhouses in order to decrease the likelihood of such horrors,” says PETA Vegan Outreach Director Bruce Friedrich. “The abuse that Mr. Butler says he has witnessed is beyond appalling.”

Among the improvements that PETA wants Tyson and KFC to implement are these: replacing crude and ineffective electric stunning and throat-slitting with controlled atmosphere stunning (CAS); phasing out the forced rapid growth of chickens, which causes metabolic disorders and lameness; increasing the space allotted per bird; and adding minimal enhancements, such as perches, in order to provide chickens with some semblance of their natural environment.

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