Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Unsafe conditions at Tyson Foods plant alleged in video

Tyson Foods has been targeted in a video released by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), which claims that line speeds at a Tyson plant were too fast and created both animal welfare and worker safety issues.
The video was allegedly filmed at Tyson’s plant in Carthage, Texas, by an undercover investigator who gained employment at Tyson Foods. The video contains comments from the investigator about the working conditions at the plant, although her face is shaded and her name is not offered.

Tyson Foods responds to allegations

Officials from Tyson Foods stated the company is still reviewing the video, but added that Tyson Foods is “absolutely committed to proper animal handling and workplace safety.”  The company stated that it operates all plants within the line speed limits set by the federal government, and continuously monitors its facilities to assure workplace safety.
Responding to allegations of improper animal handling, Tyson Foods stated it did not receive any complaints of that nature during the time frame when the video was believed to have been filmed.
“Everyone who works with live animals in our plants – including the person who secretly shot this video – is trained in proper animal handling and instructed to report anything they believe is inappropriate. They can report to their supervisor, the Tyson Foods compliance and ethics hotline and even one of the USDA inspectors who have access to all parts of the plant, including live animal handling areas. During the timeframe we believe this video was shot, we have no record of any employees reporting claims of animal handling violations,” the company stated. “In addition to training, we regularly conduct our own internal animal handling audits in our plants. Our operations are also subject to third party audits.”

Complaints filed against Tyson Foods

ALDF, in a press release, stated it has recently filed three related complaints against Tyson Foods. Those complaints include:
  • A complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, claiming unsafe working conditions for employees
  • A complaint with the USDA, alleging inhumane handling practices and food safety violations
  • A complaint with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, accusing Tyson Foods of overstating the priority it puts on animal welfare in corporate and investor materials

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