(FARM ANIMALS/FACTORY FARMING) Tyson Foods recently announced it’s making significant animal welfare improvements, including phasing out one of the cruelest factory farming practices in existence.
Last week, Tyson distributed new guidelines to its 3,000 pork suppliers, recommending farmers move away from inherently cruel gestation crates, and improve housing systems for pregnant pigs. Gestation crates are currently banned in nine U.S. states, and are so inhumane they prevent pregnant sows from being able to stand-up, lie down, and turn around.
Tyson’s decision comes after decades of lobbying and protests from countless animal rights organizations. While some groups are praising these changes as “a dramatic step forward,” Mercy For Animals is urging Tyson to make their new guidelines a requirement rather than a suggestion. Continue reading below for Mercy For Animals’ full statement on Tyson’s new animal welfare policies. — Global Animal
Statement By Mercy For Animals On New Tyson Animal Welfare Policies:
The announcement that Tyson is making significant animal welfare improvements, including urging its pork producers to move away from inherently cruel and restrictive gestation crates, signals an important new era and direction for the company.
The pork industry’s use of gestation crates is one of the worst forms of institutionalized animal abuse in existence and we praise Tyson for acknowledging that this cruel system must be phased out. By speaking out against cruel crates, painful mutilations, and horrific killing methods, Tyson is taking a positive step forward in improving animal welfare. We hope this announcement is more than PR hogwash and that Tyson acts quickly and diligently to implement these changes in order to spare millions of animals needless misery and suffering.
We urge Tyson to add more teeth to the new guidelines by making them a mandate for all of its pork producers, rather than a mere recommendation.
Other key players in the pork industry, including Walmart, should follow Tyson’s lead and stop the unacceptable practices of confining pigs in crates so small they can’t turn around, mutilating piglets without painkillers and slamming them headfirst into the ground.
In November, Mercy For Animals released shocking hidden-camera video of sadistic and egregious animal abuse secretly recorded at a Tyson factory farm, including the following:
- Workers viciously punching, kicking, beating, and violently shaking animals and pulling out their hair
- Piglets having their tails hacked off and their testicles ripped out of their bodies without painkillers
- Workers slamming conscious piglets headfirst against the ground and spiking them like footballs
- Pregnant pigs confined to tiny, maggot-infested gestation crates barely able to move for their entire lives
- Workers shoving their fingers into pigs’ eyes and hitting them with wooden boards
- Piglets left to suffer and slowly die on dead piles without proper veterinary care
- A worker throwing a heavy bowling ball at a pig’s head
Gestation crates have been widely condemned as one of the cruelest factory farming practices in the world. In fact, gestation crates are so inhumane they have been banned in nine U.S. states, as well as in the entire European Union. Recognizing their inherent cruelty, over 60 major food providers, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Chipotle, Safeway, Kroger, Costco and Kmart, have all demanded their suppliers do away with these cruel crates. Major pork producers like Smithfield and Hormel have committed to phasing out gestation crates, and Cargill is already 50 percent crate-free.
Sadly, Walmart—the largest food retailer in America—has yet to implement a policy requiring its pork suppliers to abandon cruel gestation crates.
To view the undercover video taken at Tyson’s pork supplier, visit http://www.WalmartCruelty.com. (Warning: Video content is extremely disturbing.)