Birds’ Eye: Tyson Implements Video Welfare Monitoring

Tyson Foods recently announced a new welfare initiative for its chicken production. Slaughtering 1.8 billion chickens per year, Tyson is the largest poultry producer in the United States. Likely as a result of consumer interest and outreach from animal advocacy organizations, the company stated it would implement third-party remote video auditing systems in its 33 US poultry plants. The auditing company, called Arrowsight, will review this footage and provide feedback. In addition, Tyson says it will hire nearly 60 full-time animal welfare specialists and launch two pilot programs. The first involves implementing controlled atmosphere stunning (CAS) in two of the company’s slaughter facilities. CAS is considered a higher-welfare alternative to the traditional conscious shackling and electrical stunning method that Tyson currently employs. For the second pilot program, Tyson stated it would research the benefits of adding environmental enrichments, such as perches, in its poultry houses. While pilot programs don’t necessarily result in widespread implementation, these programs may point towards gradual improvements in farmed animal welfare.

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