LOS ANGELES, March 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Shocking hidden-camera video of animal abuse secretly recorded at a factory farm run by Hybrid Turkeys, the company that supplied the birds "Popcorn" and "Caramel" for President Obama's traditional Thanksgiving turkey pardon in 2013, was released this morning by the animal protection group Mercy For Animals.
The disturbing undercover footage, which was taken at a Hybrid Turkeys factory farm in Ontario, Canada, shows:
- workers punching, throwing, kicking, and beating turkeys;
- turkeys with open, pus-filled wounds, rotting eyes, and festering infections left to suffer without proper veterinary care;
- workers crushing the spines of turkeys, and bashing in their heads with metal rods and shovels; and
- birds bred to grow so quickly that they became crippled under their own weight.
The hidden-camera investigation revealed abuses that are nearly identical to those discovered at turkey factory farms in the United States. Multiple investigations by Mercy For Animals at factory farms owned by Butterball — the nation's largest turkey producer — have exposed workers viciously 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. These investigations resulted in multiple convictions of Butterball workers for criminal cruelty to animals, including the first-ever felony conviction for cruelty to factory-farmed birds in U.S. history.
While wild turkeys are sleek, agile, and able to fly, domestic turkeys have been selectively bred to grow so large, so quickly, that many of them suffer from painful bone defects, hip joint lesions, crippling foot and leg deformities, and fatal heart attacks. Despite being genetically manipulated for enormous growth, these birds still retain their gentle, inquisitive, and social natures.
"The best way to pardon turkeys from a life of horrific suffering on factory farms is simply to leave them off our plates," said Nathan Runkle, executive director at Mercy For Animals. "Unfortunately, the lives of turkeys in factory farms are short, brutal, and filled with fear, violence, and constant misery. It's standard practice in the turkey industry for workers to beat, punch, throw, and neglect animals to suffer from festering wounds and infections."
To view the undercover video, visit www.TurkeyTorture.ca.
SOURCE Mercy For Animals