August 11, 2020

Cruelty Allegations Prompt Investigation at Turkey Breeding Farm

Law enforcement authorities used a search warrant this week to inspect turkeys at a Butterball turkey facility in Hoke County, North Carolina. The action was taken based on allegations of animal cruelty.

Mercy for Animals reported that an activist went undercover at the facility for three weeks ending in mid-December. The activist witnessed “an ongoing pattern of cruelty to the turkeys.” The group has a video that shows workers kicking and stomping on turkeys, as well as dragging the birds by their wings and necks.

The search warrant included a court order allowing independent veterinarians to euthanize any birds that are determined to be suffering needlessly.

Butterball released a statement, saying it has a “zero tolerance policy for any mistreatment of our birds” and said the company was conducting its own investigation into the allegations.

“At Butterball, LLC, our number one priority is to provide for the health and well being of our birds in order to produce safe and nutritious product for consumers,” the company statement says. “Butterball takes these allegations very seriously and fully supports the efforts being made on the part of officials.” The company said employees who violate animal welfare policies are subject to immediate termination.”

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