July 28, 2021

Butterball Employees Won’t be Charged with Animal Abuse

WITN reports that a district attorney in North Carolina will not bring charges of animal cruelty against Butterball employees who were secretly taped¬†allegedly “stomping and kicking” turkeys. Mercy for Animals, who taped and released the video, called this decision troubling.

TurkeysThe prosecutor, Ernie Lee, stated that he could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the animal cruelty was “malicious or egregious in nature.” The individual workers, however, could still be fired. One year ago, Mercy for Animals released another video which resulted in a raid at the plant. Dr. Sarah Mason, director of animal programs in North Carolina’s agriculture department poultry division, allegedly tipped off a vet at the Butterball facility about the raid. She apologized for her actions in January 2012.

Butterball has publicly stated that they have a “zero-tolerance policy” for animal abuse, and that any employees who do deliberately harm animals will be fired. The company is conducting an internal investigation about the abuse allegations.


  1. Well, I for one, won’t be buying any Butterball turkeys for a long time to come because of this. I don’t want to ingest a turkey that has been kicked and hurt while it was still alive. I have a pet bird and this is a real turnoff.

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