The State of Slaughter

Photo: Andrew Skowron • Open Cages

USDA inspectors found shocking cruelty at poultry slaughterhouses across the country: chickens thrown, suffocated, and boiled alive.

Damning evidence

Between April and September of 2021, the USDA conducted inspections at 300 poultry slaughterhouses in the US, including plants operated by industry giants like Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride, Sanderson Farms, Perdue Foods, and Koch Foods.

In January 2022 the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released official records of shocking violations at poultry slaughterhouses across the country.

This is what the inspectors found. Read it here in their own words—and take action with us to hold animal abusers accountable. The following accounts have been lightly edited for brevity.

Demand an end to these atrocities.

The evidence is clear, and it’s devastating. USDA inspectors found broken legs, broken necks, and birds boiled alive, still fluttering their wings and blinking their eyes. These testimonies of slaughter prove just how broken our food system is. Sadly, it’s worse than we ever could have imagined.

It’s time for corporations to stop profiting off of animal abuse.

Call on the chicken industry to putanendtoitscruelty

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USDA Violations Report

To learn more about poultry slaughter, the USDA inspections, and the horrors inspectors witnessed firsthand—and to access the unabridged transcripts of all the violations—read our report.

Download the full report.

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With special thanks to the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) and Farm Sanctuary—whose lawsuit against the USDA was responsible for the proactive release of the inspector reports cited on this website. Without their extraordinary and long-standing advocacy, this campaign would not be possible.

The Humane League

We exist to end the abuse of animals raised for food. But we can’t do it without you.