Fresh allegations of turkey abuse at Butterball

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Fresh allegations of turkey abuse at Butterball
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Animal rights group posts undercover video it claims was shot at Butterball hatchery in North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C (WTVD) -- The animal rights group Mercy for Animals has posted new video that it claims was shot at a Butterball turkey hatchery in Raeford, North Carolina.

The group says it used a hidden camera to film baby turkeys being processed at the plant. The pictures show the birds being moved around on conveyor belts and occasionally being injured if they get stuck in the equipment.

Mercy for Animals said workers throw, drop, and mishandle the animals, and claimed in a news release that turkeys are "routinely mutilated without painkillers and ground up alive in a macerating machine."

Click here to watch the video on the Mercy for Animals website "" (caution, graphic)

It's not the first time Mercy for Animals has published undercover video it says was filmed at Butterball facilities.

In 2011, video from the group led to a group of Butterball employees in Hoke County to be charged with animal cruelty for mishandling adult birds.

Mercy for Animals said it has turned the latest video over to the prosecutor's office for review.

Butterball told ABC11 Wednesday it has launched an internal investigation. It also released a statement which says in part:

"We are committed to the ethical and responsible care of our turkey poults and have a zero-tolerance policy for any animal mistreatment ... Experts agree the video does not depict any willful acts of negligence or mistreatment."

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