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Tyson in Hot Seat: Undercover Video Exposes Severe Animal Cruelty

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PHOTO: This incident, of a man punching a pig, was just one caught on undercover video by the group Mercy for Animals.
PHOTO: This incident, of a man punching a pig, was just one caught on undercover video by the group Mercy for Animals.
New undercover video reveals workers violently abusing pigs and piglets at West Coast Farms in Okfuskee County – a contracted pork supplier of Tyson Foods.

The group Mercy for Animals is behind the video and is pushing for legal action.

Nathan Runkle, the group's executive director, says videos capturing extreme cruelty in factory farms are becoming all too common.

He adds this latest example shows the workers are in clear violation of Oklahoma's anti-cruelty statute.

"Things like workers viciously punching, kicking, beating and violently shaking animals and pulling out their hair,” he says, “slamming boards into their faces, spiking baby piglets like footballs."

Mercy for Animals has called on local law enforcement to prosecute those individuals responsible for the abuse – and Runkle says authorities are investigating.

The farm has since fired the workers involved, and Tyson has reportedly cut ties with the farm.

Runkle says better oversight and training are needed to prevent abuse going forward.

This is the fourth Mercy for Animals undercover investigation at a Walmart pork supplier that has uncovered animal cruelty.

Runkle says Tyson owns the pigs that were shown being beaten in the video, and Walmart is Tyson's biggest client.

"We are encouraging Walmart to use its buying power to force pork producers to implement stronger animal welfare policies," he says.

Runkle says that includes phasing out the use of gestation crates that keep female pigs locked in tiny cages for most of their lives.

Several major food companies, including Burger King, Costco and McDonald's, have committed to phasing out suppliers that use gestation crates.

Cracker Barrel and Papa John's have recently added their companies to that list.