Friday, December 30, 2011

Butterball turkey farm raided after abuse claims

If these allegations are true, the management can not excuse themselves by claiming they were unaware of conditions. It is well known that when a person or group of persons have power over other conscious beings, there is a potential for abuse. There should be careful supervision, education, recording devices in these environments.

updated 12/30/2011 12:50:47 PM ET

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Authorities on Friday were investigating whether workers at a Butterball farm had abused turkeys there. The investigation follows a raid there prompted by allegations from an animal rights group.

The raid Thursday came after the nonprofit Mercy For Animals provided law enforcement with secretly recorded video footage that showed live turkeys being kicked, thrown, dragged by the neck and wings, and hit with some sort of stick or bar.

The video was collected during several weeks in November and December by an activist who got a job at the company's turkey semen collection facility in Shannon, N.C., said Nathan Runkle, the organization's executive director.


In a statement Thursday, the company said it was taking the allegations seriously. In addition to working with authorities, Butterball said it was performing its own internal and third-party audits.

"Butterball has a zero tolerance policy for any mistreatment of our birds or the failure to immediately report mistreatment of our birds by any associates," the company said. "Employees found in violation of Butterball's animal welfare policies will be subject to immediate termination."



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