Pilgrim's Pride has fired eleven employees for allegedly torturing chickens before killing them at a processing plant in West Virginia.
The action came Wednesday, after a Norfolk-based animal rights group released video footage of the abuse. The video is part of an ongoing campaign against KFC by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. KFC buys chicken from Pilgrim's Pride.
The video shows workers kicking, stomping and throwing chickens into walls.
Now the national Humane Society wants Congress to hold hearings on the abuse. That group says the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act should be expanded to protect poultry.
Pilgrim's Pride says its investigation will continue until company officials are certain that every employee who knew about the mistreatment is held accountable. The Texas-based company also has put quality assurance monitors on both shifts at the Moorefield plant.
Meanwhile, managers at 24 other plants have been ordered to take time to educate workers about animal welfare policies.
Pilgrim's Pride is the second largest poultry producer in the United States and Mexico.
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)