04 September 2012

Butterball workers caught abusing turkeys

Brian Douglas, along with several other Butterball employees, were documented by undercover investigators with Mercy for Animals violently kicking and stomping on birds, forcefully throwing turkeys, and bashing heads in with metal bars at a Butterball factory farm in North Carolina.

On the 28th of August, Douglas pleaded guilty and as a result will serve a sentence of 30 days in prison followed by 6 months intensive probation and 36 months of supervised probation.

Four other Butterball employees have also been charged.

As reported by FOX Charlotte, the undercover footage shows "turkeys covered in flies, living in their own waste, unable to access food or water and suffering from severe feather loss and necrotic (dead) muscles and skin."

"Animal care and well-being are central to who Butterball is as a company, and we are committed to the care and well-being of our turkey flocks," the company's statement said in a statement. "We are closely re-evaluating our animal care and well-being policies and practices and have already established several new initiatives."

In early 2006, an undercover investigation found Butterball workers at a slaughterhouse in Ozark, Arkansas slamming, strangling, kicking, stomping, and throwing live birds.

These types of investigations are currently being threatened by meat industry-supported "Ag-Gag" laws which are designed to make it illegal for undercover investigations to take place at factory farms. "Ag-Gag" laws are already on the books in Iowa, and other states are considering them.

Jonathan Reynolds | Blog
Jonathan is a freelance writer and blogger residing in upstate New York.

Photo credit: MFA screen capture