02 January 2012

Mercy for Animals undercover investigation of Butterball turkey farm reveals abuse

An undercover investigator from Mercy for Animals (MFA) shot footage at the Shannon, North Carolina Butterball turkey factory farm and revealed some disturbing truths. You can view the video here (video is graphic and may be upsetting).

Hidden-camera footage taken at Butterball reveals:

Workers violently kicking and stomping on birds, dragging them by their fragile wings and necks, and maliciously throwing turkeys onto the ground or into transport trucks in full view of company management;

Employees bashing in the heads of live birds with metal bars, leaving many to slowly suffer and die from their injuries;

Turkeys covered in flies, living in their own waste, with some unable to access food or water and suffering from severe feather loss

Birds suffering from serious untreated illnesses and injuries, including open sores, infections, rotting eyes, and broken bones; and

Severely injured turkeys, unable to stand up or walk, left to die without any veterinary care, because treating sick or injured birds was too costly and time consuming, as the farm manager explained to MFA's investigator.

Hoke County Sheriff's department raided the factory on grounds of animal cruelty early Thursday morning.

Not only do these turkeys have to endure the abuse of the workers, but they have to endure the horrible effects of being plumped up. These turkeys are genetically manipulated to be huge. Many turkeys suffer from bone defects, hip joint lesions, foot and leg deformities and fatal heart attacks. Dr. Sara Shields, a research scientist and poultry specialist and consultant in animal welfare, said, "Turkeys are fully capable of feeling pain, fear, stress and of suffering, and the way they are treated in the video is clearly abusive."

You can take action now! Tell Butterball to stop torturing turkeys and then spread the word.

Amanda Fagan | @AmandaFagan__ | Blog
Williamsburg, VA Amanda was raised in Williamsburg, Virginia and currently resides there, but spent four years in Vero Beach, Florida, home of the Indian River Lagoon, the most biologically diverse estuary in North America. It is there where Amanda developed her love of the ocean and marine life. She spent most of her time observing manatees, dolphins, and sharks. Amanda has worked on campaigns with Greenpeace in Washington D.C. and North Carolina. She is a freelance photographer and in her spare time she loves painting, kayaking, and cycling. She is currently teaching herself how to play the didgeridoo!

Photo credit:MFA