Earlier today, the owners of a factory farm supplying birds for McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets were charged with criminal animal cruelty following the release of a shocking video by Mercy For Animals. The disturbing undercover footage showed Thomas and Susan Blassingame, owners of T & S Farm, engaging in gruesome animal abuse, including beating and stabbing chickens using a spiked club, and standing on the birds’ heads and pulling their wings or bodies to break their necks.
The Blassingames were charged with one count each of animal cruelty under Tennessee law, a misdemeanor offense.
Immediately following the investigation, MFA contacted Weakley County, Tennessee law enforcement authorities and presented them with a detailed legal complaint and the undercover video footage. MFA praises the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department and District Attorney’s Office for taking swift and decisive action in pursuing justice for these abused and exploited animals.
Watch the video footage that led to these charges here:
At the time of MFA’s investigation, T & S Farm was a Tyson chicken contract farm that supplied chicken for McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets. MFA is calling on McDonald’s—one of the largest fast-food chains in the world and a top customer of Tyson Foods—to swiftly adopt meaningful animal welfare policies to end many of the worst forms of animal abuse and neglect in its entire supply chain.
MFA is calling on both McDonald’s and Tyson Foods to end selective breeding of birds for rapid growth and shift to slower-growing breeds of birds to prevent health problems related to accelerated growth; provide birds with more space, clean litter, access to natural light, and environmental enrichments; and replace live-shackle slaughter methods with less cruel systems that eliminate the horrific suffering caused by dumping, shackling, shocking, and slitting the throats of conscious animals.
While these criminal charges send a clear message to the poultry industry that animal cruelty will not be tolerated, ultimately, the best way to ensure that animals are protected from such horrific abuse is simply to leave them off your plate.
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