McDonald’s has been facing public scrutiny this year after the animal rights group, Mercy for Animals, released an undercover video of farmers at T&S Farm abusing their chickens during the slaughtering process. T&S Farm is the chicken supplier for McDonald’s, so this has stirred up a PR disaster for the fast food chain.

 

How is it that farmers killing their chickens caused public outrage? Answer: The farmers were killing the chickens using tactics that violate Tennessee state law. The chickens were hit with nail-spiked clubs, which caused a much slower and more painful death. Once the video went viral, McDonald’s was forced to end their business relationship with the farm.  

 

Chickens in a slaughterhouse coop

Chickens were found being mistreated at a McDonald’s chicken farm. (REUTERS)

“Members of our animal well-being team are investigating, however, based on what we currently know, we are terminating the farmer’s contract to grow chickens for use. There are currently no chickens on the farm,” said McDonald’s to FOXBusiness.com.

 

This isn’t the first time that McDonald’s has worked with a farm that treated its chickens poorly, leaving animal rights activists to question why the company hasn’t been taking a closer look at their supplier’s farms. In 2011, McDonald’s egg supplier was caught on video breaking and burning the legs of their chickens so they couldn’t move. This being the second instance of abuse tied to McDonald’s, Micky D’s fans aren’t as forgiving this time.

 

This is a bad time for McDonald’s to face a PR disaster; they have been forced into closing 700 restaurants in 2015 across the United States, China, and Japan. In April, McDonald’s reported a 30 percent drop in first quarter profits. Kevin Ozan, McDonald’s CFO, reported that not only are sales falling in 2015, but their restaurants across China have been underperforming for the past few years.    

 

Because of McDonald’s financial problems, they may have made the decision to team up with T&S Farm as a way to save money. Mercy for Animal’s Director of Investigations, Matt Rice, says that animal cruelty is a common practice for farms as a way to cut costs. Whether or not McDonald’s knew of T&S’s abusive methods when they went into business with the farm is still unknown.    

 

“This type of abuse runs rampant in the animal agriculture industry, which seeks to maximize profits and minimize costs at the expense of the animals,” said Rice.

 

Will McDonald’s turn their image around? What PR move can they make to improve their image? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.