Animal Rights Group Posts New Butterball Turkey Abuse Investigation Video To YouTube

Chris CrumBusiness

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Animals rights group Mercy For Animals has uploaded a new investigation video to YouTube claiming to show recent turkey abuse at Butterball factory farms.

Last year, YouTube banned a video from the group, which featured hidden camera footage of workers for the E6 Cattle company mistreating calves. It was definitely hard to watch, but the group told us YouTube had deemed the video a "gross out" video, intended to be shocking, sensational or disrespectful, when in fact it was presented as an investigative report.

The group wrote a letter to YouTube about it, and and was able to get the video reinstated. A YouTube spokesperson told us at the time, "With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call. When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it."

The video, which comes with a warning from Mercy For Animals itself, is still on YouTube to this day, and actually led to criminal charges.

Now, Mercy For Animals says it has uncovered another animal abuse story, having to do with turkeys, and once again has taken to YouTube to spread the word in time for the Thanksgiving holiday:

"In its second investigation into Butterball in less than a year, Mercy For Animals has again uncovered abuse and neglect of turkeys at the world's largest producer of turkey meat, as the nation plans Thanksgiving dinner," a spokesperson for the group tells WebProNews.

"The undercover investigator once again documented workers kicking and stomping on birds, the slow suffering of birds denied veterinary attention, among other abuses," he adds. "It is obvious from the footage that Butterball has not cleaned up its act despite paying lip service to the public (and media) about its 'zero tolerance policy' toward animal mistreatment.

We've reached out to Butterball for comment, and will update if we receive a response.

Update: We have received the following statement from a Butterball spokesperson:

Butterball is aware of the video released today by Mercy for Animals, and we take any allegations of animal mistreatment very seriously. As has been our long-standing policy, we have a zero tolerance policy for animal abuse. Any employee found to have violated our animal care and well-being guidelines, as well as any employee who witnessed abuse and failed to report it, will be terminated. Butterball’s guidelines are based on guidelines developed by the National Turkey Federation that have been approved by animal well-being experts including Dr. Joy Mench at University of California at Davis, Dr. Janice Swanson from Michigan State University and Dr. Gail Golab at the American Veterinary Medical Association, among others.

When we learn of any instances of animal mistreatment, we take immediate corrective action to suspend workers involved, conduct a swift investigation and terminate their employment with the company. Upon learning of these new concerns, we immediately initiated an internal investigation and suspended the associates in question. Pending the completion of that investigation, Butterball will then make a determination on additional actions including immediate termination for those involved.

Animal care and well-being is central to the operations of our company, and we remain committed to the ethical and responsible care of our turkey flocks.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.