Six employees from the Butterball turkey farm in Shannon, North Carolina have been arrested in connection with a raid that took place on December 29, 2011. Megan Drake from Care2 reported on Mercy for Animals’ (MFA) three-week undercover investigation of the farm and the raid that resulted from video evidence of animal cruelty and neglect.
Nathan Runkle, executive director of MFA, stated: “Butterball allowed a culture of cruelty and abuse to fester at its company-owned factory farms. Before ending up in restaurants and grocery stores, turkeys killed for Butterball are routinely crowded into filthy warehouses, neglected to die from infected, bloody wounds, and beaten by factory farms workers” (ABC)
In addition to the six Butterball employees arrested, Dr. Sarah Mason, a veterinarian at the North Caroline Department of Agriculture, pleaded guilty to obstructing justice and obstructing a police officer. Mason warned a friend who worked as a veterinarian at Butterball about the existence of incriminating video evidence and the impending raid. Mason has been suspended for her job and was sentenced to 45 days in jail.
Mason released a statement apologizing for her actions and said that she contacted the Butterball veterinarian only to ensure that any acts of animal cruelty ceased immediately.
As a result of the scandal, Butterball is reevaluating its animal welfare policies and has fired “several associates for failure to follow Butterball animal care and well-being policies” (ABC).
Photo from Ginger Me via flickr