Tyson to drop Oklahoma hog supplier after abuse video
SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) — An animal rights group said Wednesday it videotaped workers at a central Oklahoma farm abusing hogs raised for Tyson Foods, and the meat company said it would immediately end its contract with the supplier.
Mercy For Animals distributed images of farm workers striking pigs and slamming piglets onto a concrete floor. In one portion of the tape, a worker is shown throwing a bowling ball at a pig, striking it in the head.
The animal rights group and Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods identified the farm as West Coast Farms in Henryetta, Okla. Phone calls to the farm went unanswered Wednesday afternoon.
Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson said the company owns the livestock and had contracted with West Coast Farms to raise the animals.
“We’re extremely disappointed by the mistreatment shown in the video and will not tolerate this kind of animal mishandling,” Mickelson wrote in an email to The Associated Press. “We are immediately terminating our contract with this farmer and will take possession of the animals remaining on the farm.
“We’re serious about proper animal handling and expect the farmers who supply us to treat animals with care and to be trained and certified in responsible animal care practices. It’s consistent with our core values to ‘serve as stewards of the animals entrusted to us,’” he wrote.