Criminal charges have been filed against the owners of a Tennessee poultry farm where footage for a Mercy for Animals video depicting chickens being abused and inhumanely killed was allegedly filmed.
Thomas and Suzanne Blassingame, owners of T&S Poultry have both been charged with animal cruelty in the General Sessions Court of Weakley County, Tennessee. According to an Associated Press report published on the WRCBTV website, the incidents occurred between July July 28 and August 23 at a T&S farm near Dukedom, Tennessee.
Mercy for Animals circulated the video online in late August. The animal rights organization in the video never mentioned T&S Poultry in the video, but did identify Tyson Foods, the poultry company with which the farm had a contract, and McDonald’s, which purchased poultry products from Tyson. Once the video went public, Tyson Foods initiated an investigation and terminated its contract with T&S Poultry.
“Animal well-being is a priority at our company and we will not tolerate the unacceptable animal treatment shown in this video. We’re especially concerned about the inappropriate methods used to euthanize sick and injured chickens,” Tyson Foods said in a statement.
The video showed farm workers clubbing chickens and stabbing them with a pole with a spike attached to the end, as well as breaking birds’ necks by standing on their heads and pulling their bodies.