by Max Brantley
PETA is right about this one. The turkey drop at the Yellville Turkey Trot (Friday and Saturday) is ghastly. But it persists, as does PETA's criticism.
On October 7 and 8, the city of Yellville is holding its annual Turkey Trot Festival, during which wild turkeys—who typically fly only short distances, rarely reaching 100 feet—are hurled from private planes traveling around 70 miles per hour at altitudes of approximately 1,000 feet as part of the "Turkey Drop" tradition. Disoriented and unable to right themselves, most birds plummet like bricks, fatally crashing onto buildings, cars, and the street. Those with wind under their wings careen at extreme speeds into the landscape. City officials declare that this isn't sanctioned by the festival, yet it continues year after year.
Video of last year's drop at the link.
Arkansas does have a felony animal cruelty law for knowing cruel mistreatment of animals. It didn't do much good for the turkeys last year.
What kind of person thinks this is funny? What kind of city winks at perpetration of it?
CLARIFICATION: The felony portion of the law applies to offenses against dogs, cats and horses. But enhanced penalties are allowed for mistreatment of other animals outside accepted agricultural practices.