Tyson to probe chicken-slaughter methods

DES MOINES - Tyson Foods Inc. said Wednesday it will investigate allegations of inhumane chicken slaughter, but contended that an undercover animal-rights photographer apparently violated company policies by videotaping "what he should have been preventing."

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, distributed videotapes and launched a Web site accusing Tyson of mutilating birds and scalding thousands while they were conscious in an Alabama slaughterhouse. The group also said its videotape shows workers tearing heads off live chickens.

Tyson, the world's largest poultry processor, said a veterinarian from its Office of Animal Well-Being will look into the allegations.

Tyson also raised the possibility of evidence manipulation by PETA's undercover agent, who was employed at the Heflin, Ala., facility for several weeks.

It said the man had signed a document confirming he had completed the company's animal-welfare training "and was responsible for ensuring that no birds remained alive. His job gave him the responsibility to process any live birds, stop the line or sound an alarm if there was a problem.

"Instead, it appears PETA's agent violated Tyson's animal-welfare policy by allowing some conscious birds to go into the scald tank for the sole purpose of videotaping what he should have been preventing.

"We also take issue with PETA claims of manual decapitation of live birds," Tyson said in a statement. "We believe the carefully edited video is showing birds that have already been cut by an automatic knife and are either dead or have been rendered unconscious."

Source: adn.com
calendar icon 26 May 2005
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