Investigation Reveals Horrific Cruelty to Turkeys
PETA US' investigation inside Aviagen Turkeys, Inc., 19 indictments for cruelty to animals were filed against former employees. Now, for the first time in U.S. history, two ex-employees have been convicted of abusing factory-farmed turkeys, and one has been jailed.
Of the nearly 15 million turkeys killed for food every year in the UK, more than 10 million are slaughtered to be eaten for the Christmas holidays. Last year, just prior to the festivities, PETA US conducted an undercover investigation for more than two months at the factory farms of Aviagen Turkeys, Inc., an affiliate of the self-proclaimed "world's leading poultry breeding company." Aviagen has two offices in the UK, and its facilities across Europe produce turkeys under the brand British United Turkeys. The investigation's findings were horrifying.
The investigator documented that workers intentionally tortured, mutilated and maliciously killed turkeys. The following are just a few of the documented offenses:
Employees punched turkeys, struck them on the head with a can of spray paint and pliers, and struck turkeys' heads against metal scaffolding. One bird's head could be heard striking the scaffolding 15 times.
Two men shoved faeces and feed into turkeys' mouths and held turkeys' heads under water. Another bragged about jamming a broom stick 2 feet down a turkey's throat.
Seven men said they had killed turkeys, including by hitting them with pieces of lumber and pipes. A supervisor said he saw workers kill 450 turkeys with pieces of lumber.
One man alleged that he saw a co-worker fatally inject turkey semen and sulphuric acid into turkeys' heads. That man was also caught on video
pretending to rape a hen.
Four men were documented stomping on turkeys' heads.
The PETA US investigator repeatedly brought various abuses to the farm supervisor. As the video footage documented, the supervisor responded, "Every once in a while, everybody gets agitated and has to kill a bird". PETA US also brought the abuse to the attention of Aviagen's president. Corporate officials reacted swiftly: they ordered all supervisors not to tolerate abuse and instituted new rules requiring cruel workers be sent home. Despite this, some of the abuses continued, and supervisors did not discipline all abusive workers.
Of course, the suffering typical of most turkey factory farms was also routine in Aviagen's sheds: hens' beaks were cut with pliers, massive birds collapsed and died of exhaustion or heart attacks, and turkeys were thrown into transport cages.
Those who eat turkeys during the Christmas holidays – or any time of year – are supporting the type of cruelty documented on Aviagen's farms.
Please help us put an end to this suffering by taking turkeys off your plate this holiday and by supporting PETA's important work to end abuses on factory farms.
Please write to Aviagen Turkeys and demand that they implement PETA's
. five-point animal welfare plan
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