Animal abuse charges plague Pilgrim's Pride
Jul 21, 2004 1:40 PM, from staff and wire reports
As Pilgrim’s Pride Corp saw its stock shares drop, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released a video it reportedly taped in secret showing cruelty at a Moorefield WV poultry plant owned by the nation’s number two poultry producer.
The PETA tape is the latest in an 18-month-long series of investigations of firms that supply KFC, the fast-food chicken chain that Yum Brands Inc owns and operates.
According to PETA spokesman Dan Shannon, abuses at the Pilgrim’s Pride facility far exceeded the “routine, standard cruelty” the animal rights group found in past investigations. Abuse shown at Moorefield allegedly included stomping, kicking, and spitting on live birds.
Shares of Pittsburg TX-based Pilgrim’s Pride lost $1.11, or 3.6%, falling to $29.65, after sinking as low as $29 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
According to Ray Atkinson, a Pilgrim’s Pride spokesman, the firm was “appalled at the treatment of the animals shown in the video” and called the actions “completely contrary” to its poultry treatment policies. He said any workers found violating those policies would be fired.
KFC has told Pilgrim’s Pride that it will quit purchasing from the West Virginia facility “unless they can definitively assure us there are absolutely no abuses taking place.”
PETA also said it had turned the video over to prosecutors, seeking felony charges against those allegedly responsible.
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.