<$BlogRSDUrl$> The Cyberactivist

Behind the scenes of the fight for the protection of animals and workers and the preservation of the environment - my experiences as a Tyson slaughterhouse hanger/killer turned activist. Exposing the evils of factory farming, by Virgil Butler. If you have arrived here looking for the Tyson stories, view the early archives. Some of them are now featured on the sidebar for easy searching.

Monday, September 22, 2003

One-leggers 

This is a copy of another statement that
was sent to the sheriff's office along with
the first one I described in my intoductory
post that you can find all over the web now.

"One-legger" is the term used to describe
a chicken that has accidentally been hung
in a shackle by only one leg. The person in
the killing room is under orders from their
supervisor (mine was Ed Taylor, who passed
on these orders from Richard Frasier) to get
these birds off the line any way possible. The
fastest way to accomplish this is to cut the
chicken's leg off at the hock because the birds
are going by in excess of 182 per minute. After
they do this the killer doesn't have time to finish
killing the horribly wounded chickens because
of trying to keep up with all the rest that the
stunner and killing machine miss. Consequently,
these chickens lay on the floor in a pile, where
the killer has thrown them, to slowly bleed to
death or die of shock. Some of them will try to
flop back out in the floor and get kicked back i
nto the corner. I have personally seen this
happen six or more times to the same chicken
before it finally bled to death.

One-leggers can pose a very real danger to
the person in the killing room if they are left
on the line. The killer's knife is between 7" to
8" long and is razor sharp. I, and others, have
received many cuts to our hands and wrists
from the killing knives because of the fight
that the one-leggers put up to save
themselves. In order to cut birds’ necks, the
killer has to reach out and grab the chicken by
the head, put his thumb on the inside of its
beak, and with his pointer finger behind its
neck, he rotates his hand to pull the neck
tight, all while the chicken is flopping around.
With the one leg loose, a one legger can kick
the knife and usually drive the blade right into
the killer's wrist.

Because of this danger and the damage
done by the machinery to the one-leggers,
Richard Frasier decided to have the back-dock
hangers start pulling the one-leggers off the
line any way possible. The hanger on the end
of the line has the responsibility of making
sure no one-leggers enter the killing room.
Since he has no knife and no time to gently
pull the chicken out or hang the free leg, the
hanger was told to grab the chicken at the
base of its wings, one hand on each wing, and
pull straight down, ripping the chicken out of
the shackle. Most of the time the chicken will
separate at the weakest point, which is where
the thigh attaches to the body. Then it is
thrown into a heap behind the hangers on the
floor, where they are left to bleed to death.
The chicken will take anywhere from a few
minutes to several hours to die, depending
on the amount of damage done.

I would estimate that anywhere from
200-1500 birds a night have this happen to
them. The average number is around 200-400.
I have seen over 1500 suffer this way in one
night, when there was a higher ratio of
inexperienced workers on the line.

Thee worst thing about this is that it is
standard practice (and legal, as far as I know).
This is something else we are trying to stop.
It's unnecessary and cruel. This is the kind
of cruelty you support if you eat Tyson chicken.

There are many other options. Send a
message with your purchases. Vote with
your dollars. We are making progress. We
can change things if we all work together.
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