|Délimax Veal - Quebec, 2014 |
Sickening cruelty to baby calves was captured on hidden camera by an MFA Canada investigator at a Délimax-affiliated veal factory farm in Quebec, Canada's largest veal-producing province. Calves are seen crammed into tiny wooden crates, often chained at the neck and unable to turn around or lie down comfortably, and workers are documented violently kicking and beating them. This gut-wrenching investigation received widespread media attention, including an in-depth story on CTV's W5 and coverage by the Toronto Star, CBC Montreal, and more.
Following the investigation, Quebec's veal producers federation announced it would phase out the use of inherently cruel veal crates. After discussions with MFA Canada representatives, Canada's top grocery chains, including Metro and Sobeys, committed to ending the sale of veal from crated calves by 2018. Loblaws made a similar commitment soon after. MFA Canada is now calling on the Retail Council of Canada to follow suit.
|Horizon Hatchery - Ontario, 2014 |
Hidden-camera video exposed extreme cruelty to animals at a chicken hatchery owned by Maple Leaf Foods, one of Canada's largest meat producers. The shocking video footage shows baby chicks flung by their fragile wings and slammed into metal dividers, live chicks sent through a scalding washing machine, burned, and drowned, and birds being overloaded and roughly crammed into macerators to be ground up alive.
These atrocities were brought to light by a brave investigator with MFA Canada, which resulted in extensive international media coverage, including by CBC News, The Huffington Post, CTV London, the Toronto Sun, and The Ontario Post. MFA is calling on Maple Leaf to implement meaningful animal welfare policies to prevent this kind of blatant animal abuse.
|Hybrid Turkeys - Ontario, 2014 |
An investigator from MFA Canada secretly filmed workers abusing birds in filthy, overcrowded warehouses at the world's largest primary turkey breeder, Hybrid Turkeys. Workers were caught on hidden camera kicking and throwing turkeys, crushing their spines, and violently beating them with shovels and metal rods. Turkeys with open, pus-filled wounds, rotting eyes, and festering infections were left to suffer and die.
The investigation sparked an important national discussion about the plight of factory-farmed turkeys and garnered massive mainstream media attention, including from the Toronto Star, CTV News, and CBC's Marketplace, which aired an in-depth news report. MFA Canada is calling on the turkey industry to require veterinary care for sick and injured birds, install live-streaming video monitors, and ban the practice of breeding birds to grow so quickly they become crippled under their own weight.
|Wiese Brothers Farms - Wisconsin, 2013 |
Workers viciously kicking, beating and whipping cows in the face and body, sick and injured cows suffering from open wounds and infections, and workers dragging cows by their fragile legs and necks using chains attached to a tractor — these are just some of the routine abuses documented by an MFA investigator at a DiGiorno cheese supplier in Wisconsin.
The shocking video footage made headlines around the world through United Press International, NBC National News and the Daily Mail. DiGiorno quickly cut ties with the dairy factory farm, while MFA and a state lawmaker continue to press for criminal prosecution of workers. MFA is calling on DiGiorno not only to stop buying from this particular facility, but to implement meaningful animal welfare guidelines for all of its cheese suppliers to help prevent some of the worst forms of animal abuse in the dairy industry.
|Tyson Pork Group - Oklahoma, 2013 |
An MFA investigation at a Tyson pig factory farm in Oklahoma uncovered sadistic animal abuse, including workers throwing a bowling ball at a pig's head, and kicking, throwing, hitting, body slamming, and otherwise torturing pigs. The investigator also documented thousands of pregnant pigs crammed in gestation crates so small the animals could not even turn around or lie down comfortably for nearly their entire lives.
The investigation received widespread media coverage from NBC News, LA Times, Mother Jones, and more. The abuses caught on tape were widely condemned by animal welfare experts. Following the investigation, Tyson immediately dropped its contract with the factory farm, and local law enforcement is investigating. Tyson is a major pork supplier to Walmart. MFA is calling on Walmart to adopt new animal welfare guidelines prohibiting Tyson and its other pork suppliers from confining pigs in crates barely larger than their own bodies.
|Pipestone System - Minnesota, 2013 |
An MFA investigator documented horrific animal abuse at this major Walmart pork supplier owned by Randy Spronk, the president of the National Pork Producers Council. During the investigation, workers were seen violently slamming conscious piglets headfirst against the ground, ripping off their tails and testicles without painkillers, hitting, throwing, and dropping pigs and piglets, and confining pregnant pigs in filthy, fly-infested gestation crates barely larger than their own bodies for nearly their entire lives.
While this type of animal abuse outrages most Americans, it is considered standard practice and defended by the pork industry. Mainstream media coverage of the investigation in Minneapolis Star Tribune, Arkansas Times, The Huffington Post and more depicted practices that Walmart calls "unacceptable" and prompted thousands of people to sign the petition calling on Walmart to ditch cruel gestation crates.
|Creekside Farms and Kuku Farms - Alberta, 2013 |
Mercy For Animals Canada shocked the nation with hidden-camera video of two suppliers to Burnbrae Farms — McDonald's Canada's exclusive egg provider. The undercover investigation revealed thousands of egg-laying hens crammed inside tiny wire battery cages, workers smashing in the heads of baby birds and tossing live chicks into trash bags to suffocate, and dead hens left to rot in cages with live birds still laying eggs for human consumption.
"W5," Canada's leading investigative news program, aired an in-depth story about the investigation, which was followed by massive media coverage across Canada, including by the National Post, The Globe and Mail, and the Toronto Star. The news not only horrified Canadians, many of whom did not realize that battery-cage systems were used in the country, but it sparked an important national discussion about the welfare of millions of animals who are systematically abused in the factory farming industry.
|Puratone - Manitoba, 2012 |
MFA's sister organization in Canada completed its first undercover investigation into the Canadian pork industry, documenting the standard practice of cramming thousands of pregnant pigs into filthy, metal gestation crates barely larger than their own bodies. The investigation also revealed workers ripping out the testicles and cutting off the tails of piglets without any painkillers.
The extreme abuse suffered by animals behind the closed doors of Canada's factory farms sparked far-reaching media coverage and opened the eyes of millions of Canadians to the plights of pigs in their country. The media frenzy began with an exclusive story on CTV's renowned investigative program W5, followed by additional in-depth coverage in the Toronto Star, on CTV National, and on CBC National. From there, the shocking investigative video went viral and was seen by millions of people worldwide.
|Christensen Farms - Minnesota, 2012 |
An undercover MFA investigation provides a shocking look into a Walmart pork supplier — Christensen Farms — where pregnant pigs and their piglets are forced to suffer lives of extreme confinement and misery. Thousands of pigs are confined to filthy, metal gestation crates so small they are unable to even turn around for nearly their entire lives. Workers slam conscious piglets headfirst into the ground, rip out their testicles and cut off their tails without painkillers.
Following the investigation, Costco, the third-largest grocery chain in America, and Kmart, the third-largest discount store in the world, announced they would begin requiring their pork suppliers to phase out cruel gestation crates. Unfortunately, Walmart is supporting animal abuse by selling pork from Christensen Farms and other producers that confine pigs to cages barely larger than their own bodies.
|Illegal Slaughter Operation - California, 2011 |
Hidden-camera footage obtained by Mercy For Animals led to the arrest of Roberto Celedon for three felony and 10 misdemeanor criminal charges related to his illegal slaughter operation in Los Angeles County, California.
The shocking video evidence shows animals being violently pinned down, having their throats crudely sawed open, and slowly bleeding to death. This case graphically illustrates the cruel, inhumane and illegal abuses that farmed animals are all too often subjected to in California and across the nation.
During a raid of the facility, Los Angeles County Animal Control officers seized dozens of sick, injured and emaciated animals. These animals are now being rehabilitated at The Gentle Barn, a sanctuary for farmed animals in California.
|Sparboe Farms - Iowa, Minnesota, and Colorado, 2011 |
What's really in a McDonald's Egg McMuffin? An MFA undercover investigator exposed appalling cruelty at the fast-food giant's major egg supplier. Hidden-camera footage shot at Sparboe Farms - the fifth-largest egg producer in the country and a significant egg supplier to McDonald's, Target, Sam's Club, Supervalu, and Hy-Vee - revealed hens crammed into filthy battery cages and dead hens left to rot alongside birds still laying eggs for human consumption. The investigator also documented workers burning off the beaks of chicks without painkillers, sadistically and maliciously torturing animals, and throwing live birds into plastic bags and leaving them to suffocate.
The investigation received unparalleled international media attention - airing on ABC's Good Morning America, World News Tonight, and 20/20 - and prompted McDonald's, Target, Sam's Club, and Supervalu to immediately discontinue their relationships with Sparboe Farms. Following the investigation, MFA filed a legal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against Sparboe for making false and misleading public claims regarding animal welfare practices.
|Iowa Select - Iowa, 2011 |
Working undercover at Iowa's largest pig factory farm - which confines thousands of mother pigs to barren metal crates barely larger than their own bodies and supplies pork products to major grocery chains, including Kroger, Safeway, HyVee and Costco - MFA's investigator documented management training employees to use dull clippers to cut off the tails of piglets, to castrate them without painkillers and to throw piglets across the room - comparing it to a "roller coaster ride." The investigation also revealed mother pigs - physically taxed from constant birthing - suffering from distended, inflamed, bleeding, and usually fatal uterine prolapses, and sick and injured pigs often left to languish and slowly die without proper veterinary care.
Stirring massive mainstream media attention, the investigation also raised awareness among millions of people about how the majority of pigs are raised and killed for food in the United States.
|E6 Cattle Co. - Texas, 2011 |
Undercover footage from this factory farm - which raises over 10,000 calves for use on dairy farms - documented workers bludgeoning calves with pickaxes and hammers, burning out their horns without painkillers, standing on their necks, pulling them by their ears, and leaving them to suffer without veterinary care.
The investigation sparked national outrage, caused the live-cattle stock price to drop, fueled efforts to halt legislation to criminalize whistleblowers for videotaping animal cruelty and holding abusers accountable, and prompted countless consumers to consider the plight of calves born into the dairy industry for the first time.
|Conklin Dairy Farms - Ohio, 2010 |
Hidden camera video recorded at this Central Ohio dairy farm reveals sadistic and malicious cruelty to cows and newborn calves. The undercover footage exposes animals being beaten in the face with metal pipes, repeatedly stabbed with pitchforks, having their tails broken, and being kicked, thrown, and punched by employees.
As a result of the investigation, a farm worker was arrested and convicted on six counts of cruelty to animals, numerous dairy suppliers ended their relationships with the facility, support was generated for a statewide animal protection initiative, and consumers nationwide learned about the dark side of dairy production.
|Willet Dairy - New York, 2009 |
Calves having their tails cut off and horns burned out of their skulls without painkillers, workers hitting, kicking and shocking cows, sick and injured animals left to suffer without proper veterinary care, and cows forced to live in filthy and overcrowded sheds - these were the abuses uncovered during an MFA investigation at Willet Dairy in Locke, New York.
The investigation garnered national media attention and led to a criminal conviction on grounds of cruelty to animals, and the introduction of a bill in New York State to prohibit the cruel and unnecessary tail docking of dairy cattle.
|Quality Egg of New England - Maine, 2009 |
The largest egg farm in New England, this factory farm confines millions of brown egg-laying hens in tiny battery-cages - so restrictive that the birds can't fully spread their wings or walk freely. MFA's hidden camera footage exposed birds trapped in the wire of their cages and workers throwing live birds into trash bins and breaking their necks.
The investigation prompted the Maine Department of Agriculture and state police to raid the farm on grounds of cruelty. Grocery chains nationwide dropped the farm as an egg supplier, following MFA's expos-
As part of a landmark civil settlement, the mega-farm pleaded guilty to 10 counts of cruelty to animals, agreed to pay over $130,000 in fines and restitution, and handed over authority to the state of Maine to conduct unannounced inspections of the facility for the following five years.
Going Undercover with MFA: A History of Results
Mercy For Animals has achieved major, measurable successes through our investigations. Following our first two egg farm exposés, Giant Eagle grocers pledged to boycott eggs from producers who "force molt" their hens — the practice of shocking hens into a laying cycle by depriving them of light and food. In response to the House of Raeford investigation, numerous employees were fired and Denny's restaurant chain ended its supplier relationship with the slaughterhouse.
Similarly, grocery giant Trader Joe's terminated its business relationship with California egg producer, Gemperle Enterprises, after MFA exposed the egg farm's merciless practices. After the Buckeye Veal Farm expose, Costco Wholesale committed to ending the sale of veal from producers who use a crate-and-chain production method. This policy will spare months-old calves from being chained by their necks inside individual two-feet-wide crates so small that the calves are unable to turn around, walk, lie down comfortably or clean themselves.
Recently, MFA investigations have helped pass landmark legislation; prompted one of the country's largest egg producers to move away from battery cages; led law enforcement to raid an investigated facility, resulting in a landmark civil settlement; raised international awareness of the egg industry's disturbing practice of killing unwanted male chicks by throwing them into grinding machines; and enlightened countless consumers through thousands of television, newspaper and radio stories.
Get Active: How You Can Help
- Donate Make a tax-deductible contribution to support Mercy For Animals' life-saving work on behalf of the most abused and neglected creatures on Earth: farmed animals. Click here for information on joining MFA's monthly giving club, and click here for information on joining The Hope Society.