by Max Brantley
PETA is derided by many for its single-minded devotion to better treatment of animal and for some of its publicity stunts. But it's uncovered some shocking animal abuse in commercial production facilities in the past and now it is promising more.
At noon Friday at the Peabody Hotel, Ingrid Newkirk, the national leader of the group, has scheduled a news conference to discuss allegations -- based on undercover video -- of mistreatment of animals at a Butterball turkey processing plant in Ozark. PETA has asked the local prosecutor to file criminal charges. News release on the jump.
PETA NEWS RELEASE
With a news conference to be held on Friday, PETA is calling for criminal cruelty-to-animals charges to be filed against employees and the owner of turkey giant Butterball after a PETA undercover investigation at the company’s Ozark, Ark., slaughterhouse revealed shocking abuses of birds. PETA has furnished Franklin County prosecutor David Gibbons with shocking affidavits and video footage documenting that Butterball workers were seen punching, stomping on, sexually assaulting, and otherwise tormenting turkeys. PETA cofounder and president Ingrid E. Newkirk will show undercover video footage from the investigation and explain the complaint:
The following are just a few of the abuses detailed in PETA’s complaint:
Workers slammed live birds against shackles, metal trailers, and handrails with such force that one turkey’s spine popped out.
Workers routinely kicked live birds and often used them as punching bags.
One employee was seen stomping on a bird’s head until her skull exploded.
Another employee assaulted a hanging turkey by inserting his finger into her cloaca (vagina).
After viewing PETA’s video footage, U.S. Department of Agriculture and American Meat Institute slaughterhouse consultant Dr. Temple Grandin said, “This plant has both severe animal welfare problems and a lack of management that needs correcting.”
“Every time we pull back the curtain on slaughterhouses and animal factories, we reveal atrocities that would make most people lose their lunch,” says Newkirk. “The horrendous abuses documented at this Butterball plant clearly violate Arkansas law, and we’re asking that these people—and this company—be held accountable.”
For more information, please visit PETA’s new website ButterballCruelty.com. Broadcast-quality video footage taken at the slaughterhouse will be available at the news conference and is available upon request.