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Animal Rights Group Investigates Butterball
Written by Staff Reports   
Friday, 16 November 2012 02:15

(FAYETTEVILLE) – Officials with Butterball turkey say they have suspended some workers and take “very seriously” allegations of mistreatment of animals at five North Carolina facilities. This comes several days after the group Mercy for Animals released results of an undercover investigation.

The animal rights group released the results of a month-long investigation at five Butterball facilities in four Central North Carolina counties. Undercover investigators collected photos and videos of employees physically abusing birds, in addition to what they believe are substandard living conditions. This is the second year in the year the group has conducted an investigation, and released results near Thanksgiving, the time of year most associated with turkey consumption.
 
"Consumers have a right to know how turkeys are treated at Butterball, before they end up as their Thanksgiving dinner. And I think that most people care about animals, even animals that are raised and killed for food,” said Matt Rice, director of the investigation for Mercy for Animals.

Rice says local law enforcement is now reviewing the material Mercy for Animals collected. Last year, an investigation by the group into a Hoke County Butterball breeding facility resulted in charges of animal abuse for five Butterball employees.

Butterball is the country's largest producer of turkey meat and is the source of 30 percent of the 46 million turkeys killed each year for Thanksgiving, according to Mercy For Animals. Rice claims the investigation's findings indicate a larger, systematic problem.

"Butterball failed to have any meaningful animal welfare policies to prevent blatant animal abuse. Multiple times at multiple different facilities, we've found these same types of abuses that are a clear violation of North Carolina law."

A spokesperson from Butterball said the company takes "...any allegations of animal mistreatment very seriously. As has been our long-standing policy, we have a zero tolerance policy for animal abuse."


 

Last Updated on Friday, 16 November 2012 02:18
 
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