Since allegations of abuse at Moorefield's Pilgrim's Pride plant broke, some have questioned whether video shot by PETA is even real. TV-3 spoke to one woman who used to work at the plant was says it's not only accurate, it didn't capture enough. "Every time I would run around the back side of the factory, I would see these wet chickens, huddled all up in a corner," says Darlene Secrist, who worked at the Moorefield plant for 10 months in 1999 and 2000.
During that time, she was a security guard and says she saw chickens sprayed with a high pressure water hose, even in the dead of winter. "They were pressure hosing, because they could not catch them," says Secrist. "They was too lazy to try to catch them."
Secrist says it was too much for an animal lover like herself to take. "I told them, this hurts me very deeply," says Secrist. “If they want to kill the chickens, kill the chickens. Don't make them suffer, not where I have to see it every time I go around there."
After months of watching the abuse, Secrist decided she'd had enough. She went around her own supervisors and took her complaints straight to plant management. "I hope they fire everyone that knows about it," says Secrist. "And I know a lot of people knows about it. It's always been a joke, I mean, chickens to them was nothing."
Secrist says speaking up caused some at the plant to start harassing her. She filed a complaint with the department of labor, but none of her co-workers would back her up so she finally quit. Four years later, she says that incident is keeping her from getting another job.