As promised, the folks at PETA have begun a campaign against Burger King to demand better treatment of farm animals. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) says the action is taken only after three months of unsuccessful negotiations with the fast-food giant, demanding Burger King commit to the animal welfare guidelines recently adopted by its chief competitor – McDonald’s.

Specifically, PETA says Burger King has refused to ensure that its suppliers are not skinning and dismembering conscious animals in violation of federal standards. “Egg-laying hens raised for Burger King are crowded into cages so small that they cannot spread a single wing,” says PETA spokesman Bruce G. Friedrich, vegetarian campaign coordinator. “To keep them from pecking each other to death out of desperation, Burger King’s suppliers slice off the birds’ beaks with a hot blade. Hens are also starved for up to two weeks to force them into another egg-laying cycle, and breeding sows are confined to tiny concrete stalls, unable to turn around, lie comfortably, or nuzzle their babies.”

As with other PETA campaigns, the Burger King effort includes a parody of the company’s logo and advertising. In this instance, the words Murder King replace the company’s logo, and under a heading “Have it your way,” is a gruesome photo of a recently skinned cow’s head hanging from a packinghouse chain. At the bottom of the photo PETA asks the question “How much cruelty can you stomach?”

In a the letter to activists, Mr. Friedrich writes, “If McDonald’s can eliminate the worst abuses, Burger King has no excuse for not doing at least as much. Burger King has told us it will ‘strive’ to meet ‘industry standards,’ knowing full well that those standards are so cruel that they allow for slicing off the beaks of animals without painkillers, cramming seven or eight hens into a space the size of a file drawer for their entire lives, starving and dehydrating hens for up to 14 days to force them into another laying cycle, and worse!”

Last September PETA suspended its 11-month campaign against McDonald’s after the fast –food chain announced that its poultry suppliers must increase the amount of space for laying hens, eliminate de-beaking and prohibit forced molting of hens. McDonald’s also announced slaughterhouse audits and its intentions to stop buying from suppliers who failed those audits.

PETA’s “McCruelty to Go” campaign included using “Unhappy Meal boxes filled with bloodied toy animals and graphic billboards, as well as more than 400 demonstrations in 23 countries. PETA says Burger King should expect “similar treatment.”

To learn more of the grizzly details about the campaign against Burger King you can visit PETA has stated that it will spread its focus to other companies, including restaurants Wendy’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken, and supermarket chains such as Kroger, Albertson’s and Safeway.