Animal Rights Group: Turkeys Were Brutalized, Left In Squalor At Farm

SHANNON, N.C. (CBS) — A Chicago animal rights group went undercover at a North Carolina turkey farm, and what they found was shocking and severe enough to warrant the attention of police.

The Hoke County, N.C., Sheriff’s Department showed up at a Butterball turkey farm in Shannon, N.C., after an undercover worker representing Chicago-based Mercy for Animals was hired there and went undercover with a hidden camera.

The worker said she found abuse so horrific that authorities had to be notified. She captured video of what she said included workers throwing, kicking, dragging and beating turkeys at the plant. She also found turkeys suffering from bloody open wounds and infections, according to a news release.

“Where you see someone slamming a bird against the side of the transport truck, and I do know that was done out of very targeted aggression,” the undercover worker who shot the video told CBS 2, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “They were throwing them around and kicking them and stomping on them. All of the handling techniques that you see on tape were witnessed fully by Butterball management and were accepted by management as the easiest and fastest way to move those birds.

Mercy for Animals says the undercover worker saw farm employees “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.”

The worker also saw employees bashing live turkeys in the head with metal bars, leaving them to die slow, painful deaths from the resulting injuries.

Some birds were suffering from open sores, rotting eyes and broken bones, while others were covered in flies and living in their own feces without any access to food or water. They had lost many feathers and their skin and muscles had rotted and died, the release said.

Other birds were severely injured and disabled, and could not stand or walk. They were left to die without any veterinary care, because, the release says, “treating sick or injured birds was too costly and time consuming, as the farm manager explained to MFA’s investigator.”

“I definitely have had nightmares since I left the facility,” the undercover worker said. “I saw some things that I don’t think I will ever be able to forget.”

In response to the investigation, Butterball released a statement that reads in part, “Butterball takes these allegations very seriously and fully supports the efforts being made on the part of officials.”

  • bobh


  • Roberta Waker

    Guess we won’t be buying any Butterball turkeys. Glad this was brought out into the open, although I do feel sorry for these poor birds that are already meant to be dinner. The people that mistreated these turkeys should ALL be fired, including management. These birds deserve to die in a humane manner.

  • boycott North Carolina

    F*ck you, North Carolina. This in the same state that grows a Stalinist police force which is being dealt with one day at a time.

  • Afro

    Among men, blacks (28.5%) are about six times more likely than whites (4.4%)
    to be admitted to prison during their life. Among women, 3.6% of blacks and
    0.5% of whites will enter prison at least once. (U.S. Department of Justice)
    Based on current rates of incarceration, an estimated 7.9% of black males
    compared to 0.7% of white males will enter State of Federal prison by the
    time they are age 20 and 21.4% of black males versus 1.4% of white males will
    be incarcerated by age 30. (U.S. Department of Justice)
    Some have noted that more black men are in prison in America than are in

    • Lyndia

      and do you have the statics on how many many white men are serial killers and how many kill their parents? RESEARCH THAT.

  • Afro

    since 1990, African Americans have accounted for more than 75% of persons
    incarcerated for drug offenses in Georgia and make up 97.7% of the people in
    that state who are given life sentences for drug offenses.
    In six California counties independently surveyed in 1995, 100% of those
    individuals sent to trial on drug charges were minorities,

    In 1997, the American Bar Association observed that quite often public
    defenders, who are most likely to be assigned to poor and largely minority

  • Afro

    Crime rates are down by about 25 percent from 1988-2008. 70% of prisoners in the U.S. are non-whites

  • Afro

    The U.S. has the largest incarcceration rate in the world 743 per 100,000 population.

  • Afro

    The United States has the highest docmented incarceration rate in the world 743 per 100,000 population. As of the years end 2009 the U.S. rate was 743 adults incarcerated in prisons and jails per 100,000 population. At years end 2007 the United States had less than 5% of the world’s population and 23.4% of the world’s prison and jail population.

  • Afro

    In 2009 black non-Hispanic males were incarcerated at the rate of 4,749 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents of the same race and gender. White males were incarcerated at the rate of 708 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents. Hispanic males were incarcerated at the rate of 1,822 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents.

    blacks in prison populations exceeded the proportion of whites among state residents in every state. In twenty states, the percent of blacks incarcerated was at least five times greater than their share of resident population

    In 2010 the white population was 26,735,713 percentage of U.S. Population 8.7 %

    In 2010 the black population was 38,929,319 percentage of U.S. Population 12.6%

    When will they stop crying minority!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Peace-N-Love

      Hey White Tr*sh hiding under Afro, You are a F*cking Idiot! Don’t blame the whole African-American community just because you found a blackman with a 12” anaconda bonening your mom and wife!

  • Bla

    John B. This is Red

    John B.
    “Oh, so because it doesn’t work at one light in your backwards town, it doesn’t work anywhere else in the whole nation!”

    I just want to reply to this comment, I don’t want to get in to no big long argument session with ya. Ape Hanger is a good guy and I’ve known him for years, we were in Nam together and he picked me up and carried me across his back for 18 hours through the jungle after I got my leg blown off while walking point. During that time we met up with Charlie G 3 times, so 3 times he got to put me down for a few and I don’t think you should be calling him names like trouser mouth and pants or whatever. If anyone needs to grow up a bit I would say It’s you sir. With all due respect if any is.

    The law makers in Illinois had enough votes to have a super majority override of the governors veto, so this leads me to believe that it’s not just one light in the whole nation and Obviously it’s not just Ape Hanger. I really don’t think that he is so special that law makers would pass this with a super majority just for him. He says thank you for that complement just same.

  • blbla

    He just called out from the back and said Hell if that’s the case HB 148 should go through with no problem. Do you know what HB 148 is? Just curious because that will be the next law that he pazzes, Since he has so much political power.

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