Whistleblower Describes How Birds Suffocate in Crowded Cages, Fall off Trucks, and More
For Immediate Release:
October 7, 2020
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Springdale, Ark. – In a rare move, a former Tyson Foods contract chicken farmer has just recorded a video blowing the whistle on widespread animal suffering, injuries, and death in the company’s supply chain, reporting that birds frequently fell from dilapidated truck cages onto highways.
For more than four years, Curtis Jarvis operated a breeder chicken farm near Maynard, Arkansas, for Tyson—and his allegations about the company are damning. He says that Tyson workers routinely crammed 40 birds into transport cages meant for 20 and left other cages with only a few birds, so chickens either suffocated under one another or, with too few animals to keep warm, froze to death while being transported in the winter. According to Jarvis, as many as 300 chickens per load died in this way during transport or shortly after arriving at his facility.
Jarvis also alleges that chickens fell out of Tyson’s dilapidated truck cages so often that workers drove behind the trucks to remove the carcasses from the roads. He complained numerous times about these issues but saw no improvements.
“Things are evidently so rotten at Tyson that one of its own former contractors is slamming the slaughter giant for apparently failing to comply with its own guidelines,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “Anyone upset to hear that scores of chickens are ‘grown’ only to be hanged or for their throats to be slit can help these vulnerable animals simply by choosing PETA-approved vegan meals.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—notes that these allegations could constitute violations of Arkansas’ cruelty-to-animals statutes. The group has sent a letter calling on Tyson to launch an immediate operational overhaul as well as taking disciplinary action against and supporting the criminal prosecution of employees who caused chickens to suffer or otherwise failed to correct the issues raised by Jarvis.
Jarvis is available for interviews. For more information, please visit PETA.org.