Nationwide Tour Stops in Champaign Calling to End Animal Cruelty

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CHAMPAIGN--Customers stopping by the Champaign McDonald's on North Neil St. for lunch Monday were met by more chicken than just a McNugget special.

"It's the easiest thing to grab," said customer, Emma Papineau. "But, you know, it's not without guilt."

Representatives from Mercy For Animals were outside the fast-food chain, complete with a battered bird, to showcase the abuse they claim chickens endure on farms that supply the restaurant with food.

"We're urging McDonald's to adopt on-farm improvements to reduce illness and injury among birds, and to switch to less cruel killing systems that will eliminate the suffering caused by shackling, shocking, and cutting open conscious animals," said MFA National Campaign Coordinator, Jeni Haines.

This call to action comes after an undercover investigation by the group revealed animal cruelty at a Tennessee farm contracted by Tyson Foods and used by McDonald's as a chicken McNugget supplier.

"Chickens beaten with clubs spiked with metal nails, factory farmers stepping on the heads of live birds and then pulling on their wings or bodies to break their necks, and chicken bred to grow so quickly that they frequently died of organ failure," said Haines.

After video of these practices went public, both Tyson Foods and McDonald's severed ties with the farm.

The restaurant released a statement saying: "We're committed to working with animal welfare and industry experts to inform our policies that promote better management, strong employee education and verification of practices."

Meanwhile, MFA claims the company has yet to adopt an official series of animal welfare standards.

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