Pilgrim's Pride to investigate animal cruelty allegations

by Erica Shaffer
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GREELEY, Colo. – Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., a unit of São Paulo, Brazil-based JBS SA, announced the company is “actively investigating” claims of animal cruelty at Plainview Chicken Farm, a contract poultry farm in Hull, Georgia, and a company owned poultry processing plant in Mt. Pleasant, Texas.

The investigation comes after The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) released undercover video footage depicting the abuses. The footage was taken in May and June.

In a statement, the company said, “Ensuring the well-being of the chickens under our care is an uncompromising commitment at Pilgrim’s. All of our team members and family farm partners who interact with our chickens are trained under our comprehensive Animal Welfare Program to ensure the humane treatment and handling of birds at all times.

“Pilgrim’s animal welfare experts are currently conducting a thorough investigation and any proven violation of our Animal Welfare Program will result in immediate action. Pilgrim’s does not and will not tolerate animal abuse.”

An HSUS “investigator” was employed at both locations and observed workers abusing chickens, the animal welfare organization said. At the Texas facility, the investigator received no training in animal welfare during a full week of orientation.

“The treatment of animals by Pilgrim’s Pride is shameful,” said Matt Prescott, senior director for corporate policy for HSUS. “From beating animals to inhumanely slaughtering them in their final moments, there’s simply no excuse for the abuse we documented in this multi-state investigation.”

The HSUS filed animal cruelty complaints with the Madison County Sheriff’s Dept. in Danielsville, Georgia, and the Titus County Sheriff’s Office in Mt. Pleasant.

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