Denny's drops chicken supplier due to animal-rights video

SPARTANBURG S.C. Denny's Inc. said it has stopped buying chicken from a particular poultry supplier because a video posted on the Internet shows animals being mistreated in the vendor's cultivation facilities.

The video was purportedly shot in a House of Raeford facility by an animal welfare group.

"We are deeply concerned with the violations of our company Animal Welfare Policy," said E. Marvin Johnson, House of Raeford owner and founder. "The actions of the employees were completely unacceptable by House of Raeford standards."

Johnson also said: "We are continuing our investigation and every employee, regardless of rank, involved or having knowledge of these violations will be held accountable. Of particular interest to us is the fact that four of the five employees in the video are no longer with the company, and their employment was terminated around the time this video was supposedly finished."

House of Raeford said in a statement posted on its website that the company "has been and remains committed to meeting or exceeding all recognized industry guidelines for animal welfare including guidelines recommended by the National Turkey Federation and National Chicken Council."

The company claims the video was shot by the vegetarian organization Mercy for Animals.

Citing "the severity of these allegations," Denny's spokeswoman Debbie Atkins said the family chain believed it was "appropriate to suspend further purchases from this supplier while additional information is gathered."