A new Mercy For Animals undercover investigation into a poultry supplier to Gordon Food Service—the largest private foodservice distributor in North America—has exposed horrific cruelty to animals, including baby birds violently slammed into metal shackles before being painfully shocked with electricity and having their throats cut open while still conscious and able to feel pain.
An undercover investigator with Mercy For Animals documented the heart-wrenching cruelty of the poultry industry, including:
Birds having their fragile wings and legs broken as they were hastily and violently shackled upside down
Severely sick, injured, and dying chickens sent through the slaughter line along with other birds intended for human consumption
Frightened birds dragged through an electrified vat of water, painfully shocked but left fully conscious
Birds having their throats sliced open while still conscious and able to feel pain
»Go behind the scenes to learn more.
We’ll send the petition to the top executives.
Dan Gordon
Chairman of
the Board
John Gordon Sr.
Vice Chairman
Jim Gordon
“Probably the major problem impeding animal welfare in the processing plant is a demand for rapid processing. Because the line must proceed with great rapidity, no attention is paid to the welfare of individual animals, particularly given their minimal economic value.”
Dr. Bernard E. Rollin
“Overall, this footage demonstrates systemic animal welfare problems inherent in the poultry slaughter industry. There are substantial concerns with every step in the process, from transport and unloading to neck cutting and bleed-out.”
Dr. Sara Shields
“The welfare violations the chickens in this video are subjected to are so horrible that they defy description. Numerous veterinarians and animal welfare experts have condemned the practices of live hanging and scalding birds as cruel and inhumane.”
Dr. Armaiti May
“The speed of the line going past the back up killer makes it difficult to kill all the chickens that have not been properly stunned and had their throats cut. If these birds are not killed by the back up killer, they will be scalded alive.”
Dr. Lee Schrader
“Unnecessarily cruel and stressful, the observed behavior serves as evidence of the little regard the workers give the animals in their care. Chickens suffered inexcusable pain and distress induced by poor handling and slaughter techniques and the low regard for hygiene poses significant food safety risks.”
Dr. Katherine van Ekert Onay
Restaurants Supplied by Gordon Food Service
Chickens are sensitive and intelligent animals with advanced cognitive abilities that rival those of dogs, cats, and even some primates. Studies show that chickens excel at complex mental tasks, can learn from watching each other, and are even able to pass down information from one generation to the next.
Chickens are very social animals who can form deep and meaningful friendships with other birds. Some birds are outgoing and gregarious, while others are more shy and reserved. But all chickens put family first, giving rise to the term “mother hen” to refer to particularly protective parents.
The communication skills of chickens are highly sophisticated and begin developing at an early age. Mother hens will cluck to their chicks while they are still in their eggs, and the unborn chicks will chirp back at them. Researchers know of at least 30 types of vocalizations that chickens make to mean very different things.

The best way for individual consumers to help end this cruelty is to leave animals off their plate entirely.