Update: Following our investigation inside Aviagen Turkeys, Inc., 19 indictments for cruelty to animals were filed against former employees. Now, for the first time in U.S. history, two ex-employees have been convicted of abusing factory-farmed turkeys, and one has been jailed. Learn more on our blog.
Nearly 270 million turkeys are killed for food every year in the US. Last year, just prior to the flesh-focused Thanksgiving holiday, PETA conducted an undercover investigation lasting more than two months at the factory farms of Aviagen Turkeys, Inc., the self-proclaimed "world's leading poultry breeding company."
While working at a series of Aviagen factory farms in West Virginia, PETA's investigator documented that workers tortured, mutilated, and maliciously killed turkeys. The following are just a few of the documented offenses:
PETA's investigator repeatedly brought abuses to a supervisor's attention. The supervisor responded, "Every once in a while, everybody gets agitated and has to kill a bird." PETA also brought the abuse to the attention of Aviagen, and although the company made assurances and instituted some new rules, the cruelty did not stop.
The suffering typically found on factory farms was also routine in Aviagen's sheds: Hens' beaks were cut with pliers, massive birds collapsed and died of exhaustion or heart attacks, and turkeys were thrown into transport cages.
Please write to Aviagen Turkeys, Inc., and demand that it implement PETA's seven-point animal welfare plan. Also demand that the company pledge to immediately terminate employees caught abusing or neglecting animals in the future (the company claims to have terminated some such workers), and ask the company to cooperate with state and local law enforcement to criminally prosecute all such employees.
Dear [Decision Maker],
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