In the slaughterhouses of McDonald’s U.S. and Canadian chicken suppliers, birds are dumped out of their transport crates and hung upside down in metal shackles, which can result in broken bones, extreme bruising, and hemorrhaging. Workers have the opportunity to abuse live birds, and birds have their throats cut while they are still conscious. Many birds are immersed in tanks of scalding-hot water while they are still alive and able to feel pain.
In 2000, following the launch of PETA’s (original) McCruelty campaign, McDonald’s made some basic animal welfare improvements. Since that time, the company has refused to eliminate the worst abuses that its chickens suffer, including abuses during slaughter. This cruelty could be illegal if dogs or cats—or even pigs or cows—were the victims.
There is a less cruel method of slaughter available today that would eliminate these abuses, yet McDonald’s refuses to require its U.S. and Canadian suppliers to switch to it.