Tyson Foods, the largest meat producer in the U.S., ended its contract with an Oklahoma-based West Coast Farms this week after an undercover video was released that appeared to show abusive conditions at that farm. The video, captured by activist group Mercy For Animals but as yet unverified by either West Coast Farms or any governmental regulatory group, includes footage of workers kicking, hitting, throwing pigs, and slamming them on the ground to kill them[Warning: link contains graphic video].
"We're extremely disappointed by the mistreatment shown in the video and will not tolerate this kind of animal mishandling," Gary Mickelson, a spokesman for Tyson Foods,told NBC News."We are immediately terminating our contract with this farmer and will take possession of the animals remaining on the farm."
This isn't the first instance of animal welfare accusations against a Tyson supplier -- in 2012, the Humane Society of the United States filed a legal complaintwith the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission asserting that Tyson Foods, Inc. was making "deceptive public statements related to animal well-being," and the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a petition with the Federal Trade Commission to stop "deceptive" advertising of Tyson Foods earlier this year. Both organizations accused Tyson of claiming to provide "comfortable" conditions for animals, while continuing to use methods like gestation crates that the organizations considered to be inhumane.