An animal welfare group said Wednesday that a Virginia farm that raised chickens for Tyson Foods mistreated the animals, allowing some of them to go without feed and water at times.
But Springdale-based Tyson says it cut ties with the farm in January after it uncovered animal welfare issues there on its own.
The group, Animal Outlook, said it had an investigator working undercover at Jannat Farm from August to November of last year observing as 150,000 birds were raised from chicks until they were ready for slaughter. In addition to seeing chickens go without feed for up to 52 hours, the group said it documented instances of physical abuse and filthy conditions at the farm.
The Associated Press could not immediately locate a contact at the farm itself. A spokesman for Tyson, denounced the conditions Animal Outlook documented in video and pictures shot at the farm and said the company ended its contract with the farm because it wasn't meeting Tyson's animal welfare standards.
"Since January 2023, no Tyson Foods birds have been placed on this farm and the farmer no longer has a contract to grow for Tyson Foods," spokesman Derek Burleson said.
Animal Outlook's Executive Director Cheryl Leahy said Tyson should have known about the abuse sooner because the farm had been raising chickens for the meat producer for at least seven years. The group filed a complaint with the local district attorney asking for a criminal investigation that was forwarded on to the state attorney general's office.