Pilgrim’s Pride Cited More Than Any Other Company for Mistreating Birds

For Immediate Release:
January 21, 2022

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Greeley, Colo. – PETA has just obtained U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports revealing that federal officials warned nine Pilgrim’s Pride chicken slaughterhouses about mistreatment of birds on 17 occasions between April and September 2021. The locally based company was warned more times during that period than any other poultry operation in the U.S.

The company’s slaughterhouse in Mount Pleasant, Texas, was cited three times, including after birds were drowned in scalding water, while its slaughterhouse in Canton, Georgia, was cited after a worker “aggressively” threw chickens at shackles. At another site, in Lufkin, Texas, federal officials found “numerous broken legs at the hock/ lower tibia area” on chickens after they were hung up for slaughter. Live birds were found smothered under or amid dead ones at Pilgrim’s Pride slaughterhouses in Ellijay, Georgia, and near Sanford, North Carolina; the latter was repeatedly warned that live birds were being mutilated when they were dumped from transport cages.

“If anyone drowned, smothered, or mutilated dogs, people would rightly be horrified, and chickens feel pain and fear every bit as much as the animals who share our homes,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is urging anyone upset by this mistreatment to go vegan and help keep birds and all other animals from suffering in slaughterhouses.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—is calling for a criminal probe into a May 2021 incident in which workers at a Pilgrim’s Pride slaughterhouse in Cold Spring, Minnesota, left 190 chickens to die slowly inside a fallen container.

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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