In a new video, Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning actor Alec Baldwin denounces Tyson Foods for fostering a culture of sadistic animal cruelty and neglect at its poultry facilities.
The 30 Rock star also criticizes Tyson for failing to implement meaningful animal welfare standards that would reduce the suffering of the more than two billion chickens Tyson kills for meat each year.
Academy Award-nominated Baldwin, a longtime and outspoken animal advocate, states in the video that “extreme cruelty and violence is business as usual” for Tyson. Since July, Mercy For Animals has released three shocking undercover investigations of Tyson poultry facilities exposing horrific animal abuse. Most recently, secret video taken at a Tyson slaughterhouse showed birds getting their heads ripped off while they were still alive and chirping and birds shocked with electricity but fully conscious when their throats were cut open. Workers were also caught on camera punching, throwing, and otherwise viciously torturing birds. Tyson and six slaughterhouse workers now face charges of 33 counts of criminal animal cruelty.
An earlier investigation at a Tyson chicken factory farm and McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets supplier resulted in criminal charges as well. The farm owners were convicted of criminal animal cruelty for stabbing chickens with spiked clubs, standing on the birds’ heads and pulling their wings or bodies to break their necks, and throwing live birds into buckets to slowly die. Thanks to MFA’s exposé, the farm has permanently shut down.
Yet another MFA investigation at a different Tyson farm revealed birds bred to grow so fast they often died from heart attacks and organ failure, and birds living for weeks in their own waste and toxic ammonia fumes.
Despite the fact that chickens account for more than 95 percent of the animals killed for food in the U.S., they are excluded from the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. Absent legislation mandating protections for chickens, nearly 380,000 consumers have signed petitions by MFA and TV legend Candice Bergen calling on Tyson, the largest poultry producer in the world, to implement meaningful animal welfare requirements for its company-owned and contract farms and slaughterhouses.
Specifically, MFA is calling on Tyson to replace live-shackle slaughter methods with less cruel Controlled Atmosphere Killing (CAK) systems that render animals unconscious prior to unloading and slaughter, eliminating the horrific suffering caused by shackling, live hanging, electrocuting, throat slitting, and defeathering in scalding water. With CAK systems, commonly used in Europe and already approved for use by the USDA, workers never handle live birds, removing any chance of malicious abuse.
CAK systems also improve conditions for workers by eliminating the difficulty of handling panicked animals who defecate and struggle throughout the slaughter process. In addition, CAK systems improve food safety by preventing birds from being soaked in fecal material in the feather-removal tanks — the result of entering the scalding water alive, a cruel fate that awaits as many as one million birds every year according to the USDA.
“If you eat chicken from Tyson Foods, you may be unknowingly supporting some of the worst animal abuse, including birds bred to grow so fast they’re in constant pain, extreme violence by desensitized workers, and gruesome deaths at the slaughterhouse,” said Baldwin. “As the largest meat producer in the world and a major chicken supplier to McDonald’s, KFC, Chick-fil-A, and many others, Tyson has the power and responsibility to end the cruelest forms of animal abuse in its supply chain.”