Mississippi farm under investigation for alleged chicken abuse

Mississippi farm under investigation for alleged chicken abuse

JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - A chicken farm in Puckett, Mississippi is under investigation by an animal rights organization.

Mercyforanimals.org is a national non-profit animal rights organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals. 

The group released a news release Wednesday morning claiming that the Koch Farms chicken farm was caught in an undercover video kicking, throwing, and violently transporting chickens.

The release from the non-profit is as followed:

A Puckett, Mississippi, chicken factory farm is in hot water over new hidden-camera video exposing workers kicking chickens like footballs and violently throwing them into transport crates. The covert video, secretly recorded by an undercover investigator with Mercy For Animals at a Koch Foods chicken farm, was released this morning at ChickfilaCruelty.com and shows chickens crowded into filthy sheds, suffering from bloody open wounds and infections, and being kicked, thrown, and dropped by workers. Mercy For Animals is now demanding that Koch Foods, and its customer Chick-fil-A, adopt strict new animal welfare standards to prevent future abuse.

Narrated by The Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon, the disturbing video footage also shows birds crippled under their unnatural weight suffering from broken bones and injuries, dead birds left to rot, and workers grabbing chickens by their heads, necks, and wings before violently slamming them into cages.

Today, Mercy For Animals also released findings of an investigation at a Koch Foods slaughterhouse in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which revealed workers throwing chickens, hiding cockroaches from USDA inspectors, and scalding birds alive in water.

Mercy For Animals is now calling on Koch Foods and Chick-fil-A to implement meaningful animal welfare requirements for its suppliers, including shifting to slower-growing breeds to prevent obesity-related health problems in birds, providing birds with more space, clean litter, access to natural light, and environmental enrichment, and requiring suppliers to switch to less cruel controlled atmosphere killing systems (CAK) using inert gas to render animals unconscious prior to unloading and slaughter.

In addition to protecting animals from malicious cruelty and violence on factory farms, MFA's proposed animal welfare improvements would prevent animals from being scalded alive in hot water tanks at the slaughterhouse. Shockingly, the USDA estimates that as many as 1 million birds are scalded alive every year in this country. And despite the fact that poultry make up more than 90 percent of the animals killed for food each year in the U.S., they are excluded from the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, making extreme animal abuse and suffering commonplace at poultry slaughterhouses nationwide.

"Chickens are literally tortured to death before ending up in Chick-fil-A restaurants. They are crowded into filthy sheds, thrown and kicked by workers, and have their throats slit while fully conscious at the slaughterhouse. This is sickening abuse no company with morals should support," said MFA's president, Nathan Runkle. "Chick-fil-A and Koch Foods have not only the power, but also the ethical responsibility, to end the worst forms of cruelty to animals in their supply chains."

Chik-fil-A released a statement denying current connections to the farm in question.

"The animal advocacy group Mercy for Animals is releasing an investigation today regarding the treatment of chickens at a farm in Puckett, Mississippi, and a poultry slaughterhouse in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Both facilities are owned by Chicago-based Koch Foods, which has not been a supplier for Chick-fil-A since April of 2013. As a values-based organization, we strictly partner with suppliers who share in our goal of responsible environmental stewardship, and maintain our values throughout all animal welfare and management practices. We wholly support the humane treatment of all animals and do not condone their mistreatment at any point along the supply chain," said Carrie Kurlander, Vice President of Public Relations for Chick-fil-A.

To learn more about the investigation, click here.

To view the undercover video, visit www.ChickfilaCruelty.com.

To learn more about Mercyforanimals.org, click here.