Science

Turkish farm workers accused of cruelty in Pennsylvania

Eleven people working for one of the country’s leading turkey producers have been charged with animal cruelty in Pennsylvania after state police said they were caught kicking, thrashing and thrashing turkeys at multiple farms.

Pennsylvania State Police said Thursday that workers were responsible for capturing and cratering a turkey destined for slaughter. In response to a complaint from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, police launched an investigation in August 2021. The animal rights group said it sent an undercover investigator to Plainville Farms to evaluate the marketing claims of a third-party labeling program that designated Plainville as “animal welfare certified.”

A PETA investigator worked on a crew from Plainsville Farms for nearly three weeks and captured graphic video that appeared to show workers mistreating the birds.

“Every night, in every farm the staff worked, these men threw turkeys, viciously kicked and stumbled upon them, and were punished for cruelty to farmed animals on the largest scale, from top to bottom. performance, unlike any we’ve ever seen,” PETA Vice President Dan Padden said in a phone interview.

Police said the alleged abuse took place at farms in Chester, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Perry and Union Counties. A total of 139 charges were filed, including six serious cases of serious cruelty to animals and 76 misdemeanors of animal cruelty. PETA said it was unaware of the animal cruelty case involving more criminal cases.

“It was a long, detailed investigation that involved reviewing a lot of evidence in many places,” Cpl said. Michael Spada, a state police animal cruelty officer.

employees were fired

Even after the company was suspended from an animal welfare and labeling program run by the Global Animal Partnership, Plainville continues to advertise its turkeys as “humanely raised” in a “stress-free environment” Is. Its turkey products come with the “EarthWise” seal—which is not an independent labeling program, but the term Plainville trademark in 2008.

New Oxford, Pennsylvania-based Plainville has “zero tolerance for anything resembling the alleged actions of these former employees,” said Matt Goodson, chief executive officer of the privately held company. The company fired employees implicated in the abuse, began using stationary and body cameras during the capture process, and took other measures to prevent a recurrence, he said.

He said in a statement Thursday, “Plainville is committed to the highest welfare standards for our animals and customers. We believe it is important to bring such incidents to light in order to better our industry. to be challenged.”

The company’s turkey products are sold in supermarket chains including Publix and Wegmans.

According to WATT PoultryUSA, a trade publication, Plainsville employs about 600 workers and nearly 90 million live pounds of turkeys were slaughtered last year.

PETA has long criticized the Global Animal Partnership’s humanitarian certification program as misleading and inadequate, and has chosen Plainville as a way to examine the program from a long list of Global Animal Partnership-certified suppliers, PETA Vice President Paden said Plainville happened. To open a job on a catchment crew.

disturbing video

An undercover PETA investigator hired by a staffing agency documented instances in which coworkers kicked and kicked turkeys, attached them to rods, and raised and violently shook them by the head, as That was released by a short video anthology. Peta. The video shows dead turkeys and injured turkeys crawling across the floor.

The PETA investigator did not participate in the abuse — instead slowly grazing the birds — and was reprimanded for taking too long, Paden said.

“He’s been told over and over, ‘There’s no time for that, and if you’re going to do that, you need to find a different job,'” Paden said.

Global Animal Partnership said in a statement that it took prompt action to suspend Plainville from its certification program in the wake of the PETA investigation. The partnership has certified more than 4,000 farms in 11 countries and states that each farm is visited by a third-party inspector every 15 months to ensure compliance with the group’s animal welfare standards.

“In the context of Plainville, what happened was grim, horrifying and completely unacceptable,” the group said, adding that it “does not tolerate the cruel treatment of turkeys, or any of the animals in our program.”

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