Feds Cite 61 Bird Slaughterhouses in Four Months: PETA Seeks Criminal Probes

For Immediate Release:
April 30, 2021

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – PETA has just obtained U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) records from between January 1 and May 18, 2020, revealing that inspectors cited 61 slaughterhouses on 143 occasions for abusing chickens, turkeys, and ducks in violation of the Poultry Products Inspection Act.

Workers beat, kicked, threw, ran over, scalded, and tore apart birds; left thousands to die on trucks in the cold and without food and water; and more. The reports include violations at 22 facilities run by the four largest chicken slaughterers in the country and slaughterhouses in 23 states—and because some of these incidents also appear to violate state cruelty-to-animals laws, PETA is asking local authorities to investigate and file appropriate charges against the slaughterhouses and workers responsible.

“Turkeys, ducks, and chickens experience thirst, hunger, fear, and pain, just as we do,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “This type of misery is business as usual in the meat industry, and PETA urges anyone who still eats animals to spare a thought for these birds’ painful, terrifying deaths and go vegan.”

At a Tyson slaughterhouse, 17 chickens drowned when slaughter operations were paused for an unknown reason and the animals’ heads were in a tank of electrified water; at Pilgrim’s Pride, a worker threw a chicken into a barrier, killing the bird; at Sanderson Farms, a worker kicked a chicken into a conveyor belt; and at Perdue Farms, birds were scalded to death on seven days. At Hormel subsidiary Jennie-O Turkey, the nation’s second largest turkey slaughter company, workers handled turkeys so violently that their wings and legs were broken and their muscles were mutilated. There were also violations at other bird slaughterers when 2,700 chickens died in cold trucks overnight, 1,622 chickens died at a Costco supplier after being left in crowded coops without food or water for over 24 hours, and 9,150 hens died on three trucks overnight as the wind chill reached -32 degrees. The full document of violations is available here.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind