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Former McDonald's suppliers get $25 fine for animal cruelty

After the abuse claim, the farm lost its contract with Tyson Foods, a McDonald's supplier.

By
Ed Adamczyk
Thomas and Susan Blassingame, owners of a Tennessee poultry farm which supplied McDonald's, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges on October 29, 2015. File photo by format35/Shutterstock
Thomas and Susan Blassingame, owners of a Tennessee poultry farm which supplied McDonald's, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges on October 29, 2015. File photo by format35/Shutterstock

DRESDEN , Tenn., Oct. 30 (UPI) -- Two Tennessee poultry farmers who previously supplied chicken to McDonald's restaurants pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.

An undercover video from an investigation by the Los Angeles-based organization Mercy for Animals purported to show Thomas and Susan Blassingame, owners of T&S Farms in Dukedom, Tenn., torturing chickens on their farm.

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The farm was contracted to Tyson Foods, a supplier of chicken for McDonald's. Tyson dropped the farm as a contractor after the animal abuse claim was made, and McDonald's decried the activity on the farm as "unacceptable."

The Blassingames pleaded guilty in Weakley County, Tenn., General Sessions Court on Thursday. They were each fined $25 and court costs, and put on a year's probation.

Mercy for Animals President Nathan Runkle called the fines "a pathetic slap on the wrist, unlikely to deter future acts of violence against animals."

"Instead of allowing animal abuse to continue unchecked at its chicken suppliers, McDonald's must act immediately by implementing meaningful animal welfare policies to ensure that no more chickens are illegally tortured for its Chicken McNuggets."

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