7 MFA Investigations That Shook Us to Our Core

1. Tyson (2013)

rsz_tyson.jpgWhat We Found: Pregnant pigs locked in filthy gestation crates, unable to turn around or lie down comfortably for nearly their entire lives, and sadistic animal abuse, including workers throwing a bowling ball at a pig's head, and kicking, throwing, hitting, body slamming, and otherwise torturing pigs at this Walmart pork supplier.

The Result: Tyson Foods, the second-largest pork producer in the country, dropped this facility as a supplier and announced a set of new animal welfare guidelines for all of its pork suppliers, including recommendations to phase out inherently cruel gestation crates, end the practice of body slamming piglets to death, provide pain management during tail docking and castration, and install video monitoring systems to prevent abuse.

Watch the investigation here.

2. Butterball (2011)

rsz_butterball.jpgWhat We Found: Butterball workers maliciously kicking and stomping on birds, dragging them by their fragile wings and necks, violently slamming them into transport crates, and leaving turkeys to suffer from serious untreated injuries and infections without proper veterinary care.

The Result: The arrest and conviction of several workers, including the first-ever felony conviction in U.S. history for cruelty to animals related to birds used for food production. In addition to the historic felony cruelty conviction, the investigation led to the uncovering of government corruption. Dr. Sarah Jean Mason at the North Carolina Department of Agriculture was arrested and found guilty of obstruction of justice after admitting to warning Butterball about a raid by law enforcement.

Watch the investigation here.

3. Hy-Line Hatchery (2009)

rsz_2hy-line_hatchery-2.jpgWhat We Found: Hatching over 300,000 chicks each day, Hy-Line is the largest hatchery of egg-laying breed chicks in the world. Day-old chicks are thrown, mutilated without painkillers, dropped, and dumped into a giant macerating machine to be ground up alive.

The Result: This investigation sparked international outrage and awareness of the common egg industry practice of grinding up male chicks because they do not lay eggs or grow fast enough for meat production. The hidden-camera video became one of the most viral videos on the Web and has been viewed by nearly 4 million people.

Watch the investigation here.

4. Conklin Dairy Farms (2010)

rsz_conklin.jpgWhat We Found: Some of the most sickening animal abuse we've ever seen. The undercover footage exposes cows and newborn calves being beaten in the face with metal pipes, repeatedly stabbed with pitchforks, having their tails broken, and being kicked, thrown, and punched by a worker who seemed to enjoy torturing animals.

The Result: The factory farm worker was arrested and convicted on six counts of cruelty to animals. Additionally, this investigation has been credited with pushing the Ohio Farm Bureau to agree to implement the most comprehensive set of animal welfare reforms ever enacted by a single state at one time, including a ban on veal crates and gestation crates, a moratorium on new battery cage egg facilities, and other important measures.

Watch the investigation here.

5. Sparboe Farms (2011)

rsz_sparboe.jpgWhat We Found: Hens crammed into filthy battery cages and dead hens left to rot alongside birds still laying eggs for human consumption. The investigator also documented workers burning off the beaks of chicks without painkillers, sadistically and maliciously torturing animals, and throwing live birds into plastic bags and leaving them to suffocate.

The Result: In response, McDonald's, Target, and Sam's Club, among other huge retailers, dropped Sparboe from their supply chains, resulting in what may be the largest financial fallout for a factory farm following an undercover investigation. MFA also filed an official complaint with the Federal Trade Commission about Sparboe's blatant lies to consumers about its "humane" treatment of birds.

Watch the investigation here.

6. E6 Cattle Co. (2011)

rsz_e6.jpgWhat We Found: Workers bludgeoning calves with pickaxes and hammers, burning out their horns without painkillers, standing on their necks, pulling them by their ears, and leaving them to suffer without veterinary care.

The Result: The investigation sparked national outrage, caused the live-cattle stock price to drop, and prompted countless consumers to consider the plight of calves born into the dairy industry for the first time. The investigation also led to felony and misdemeanor criminal charges against the owner, his foreman, and several employees for animal abuse. The conviction of E6's owner, deep in the heart of Texas "cattle country," was unprecedented.

Watch the investigation here.

7. Bettencourt Dairies (2012)

What We Found: Workers were caught on video viciously beating and shocking cows, violently twisting their tails in order to deliberately inflict pain, and dragging a downed cow by her neck using a chain attached to a tractor.

The Result: Kraft Foods, the largest food company in the United States, announced a new policy requiring all of its dairy suppliers to phase out the cruel practice of tail docking cattle, among other important animal welfare policies.

Watch the investigation here.