Animal Rights Group Releases Video Alleging Abuse at Butterball
Raeford, NC – The animal rights group Mercy for Animals posted video Tuesday alleging animal cruelty that it claims was shot at a Butterball turkey hatchery in Raeford, North Carolina.
As a part of their 2014 investigation of Butterball, the group says that they used hidden camera to film what takes place at a turkey poult processing plant. The video depicts turkey poults having their toes and beaks cut and burned off, workers throwing and dropping the birds, and injured bired being dropped into a macerator to be gorund up alive. According to Mercy for Animals, newborn birds are mechanically separated from their shells, often getting stuck and mangled in factory machinery. Their video was posted on YouTube on June 3rd and the group turned the video over to local police for furhter investigation.
Butterball responded to the allegations of abuse in a press statement posted on their corporate web site. Butterball, the world’s largest producer of poultry products, acknowledges that the video was taken at one of their factories. Butterball claims to have a “zero-tolerance policy for any animal mistreatment.”
Butterball launched an internal investigation through their Animal Care and Well-Being Advisory Council to confirm that the footage adheres with established and expert-approved industry standard practices for poult handling, which have been approved by the National Turkey Federation.
According to Butterball, thehe Animal Care and Well-Being Advisory Council includes third party animal care experts Dr. Temple Grandin, Colorado State University; Dr. Jesse Grimes, North Carolina State University; Dr. Michael Martin, North Carolina State University; Dr. Joy Mench, University of California-Davis; and Dr. Yvonne Thaxton, University of Arkansas.
“The undercover hatchery video I reviewed did not depict any animal mistreatment,” said Mench. “As with any operational process, there is always room for learning and improvement, which is why our council encourages Butterball to continue its ongoing associate training programs to ensure top-notch turkey care.”
Mercy for Animals is encouraging people to sign a petition at change.org to be sent to Butterball officials calling for the implementation meaningful animal welfare policies.