Chickens cruelly beaten, stomped to death and left to die painfully and slowly. According to Mercy For Animals, that’s the “disgusting secret” behind McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets.
On Wednesday, the advocacy group released disturbing hidden-camera footage capturing what it says is evidence of abusive practices at a McDonald’s chicken supplier.
The investigation into T&S Farm, located in Dukedom, Tennessee, “exposed horrific cruelty to animals, including birds beaten, crammed in filthy sheds, stabbed to death with nails attached to makeshift clubs and left to suffer and slowly die without proper veterinary care,” the group wrote.
The farm had likely supplied chicken for McDonald's Chicken McNuggets, McChicken sandwiches and grilled and deep-fried chicken filets, according to The Associated Press.
Watch the video below. Be warned that it contains graphic footage:
The video has reportedly prompted McDonald's and its supplier Tyson Foods to sever ties with T&S Farm. The Weakley County Sheriff's Office has also opened an investigation, Reuters reported.
“Animal well-being is a priority at our company and we will not tolerate the unacceptable animal treatment shown in this video,” said a Tyson spokesman. “Members of our animal well-being team are investigating; however, based on what we currently know, we are terminating the farmer’s contract to grow chickens for us.”
In a statement, McDonald’s said that it supported Tyson’s decision and is participating in its investigation. The fast food chain added that it was committed to “animal health and welfare at the farm level.”
T&S Farm has yet to comment on the allegations.
Mercy for Animals said the abuses witnessed at T&S are anything but unique. The group claims it has conducted dozens of similar undercover investigations in the past -- including at a Walmart pork supplier, a California duck farm and a McDonald’s egg supplier.
Director of Investigations Matt Rice said investigators are always faced with images that “shock and horrify,” no matter what factory farm they visit.
“Unfortunately this type of animal abuse runs rampant in the animal agriculture industry,” Rice told AP.
Earlier this year, McDonald’s announced that it would start phasing out the use of chickens raised with certain kinds of antibiotics at its U.S. restaurants.
“For public health, this is really a game changer,” Gail Hansen, a senior officer for Pew Charitable Trusts' antibiotic resistance project, told Reuters in March.
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