Eleven employees of turkey farms in Pennsylvania have been arrested on cruelty charges stemming from their alleged mistreatment of the birds.
The arrested individuals all worked for Plainville Farms, and the abuse is said to have occurred at seven farms in central Pennsylvania. They were charged with kicking, beating and stomping turkeys as they were trying to capture them and put them in crates for shipment to processors. The charges include six felony counts and 76 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.
The investigation started with a complaint by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, one of whose members gained employment on a Plainville farm and documented the abuse. “Instead of trying to stop this abuse, a supervisor joined in, kicking turkeys and berating the [PETA] investigator for not doing the same,” PETA said in a release.
Plainville Farms supplies turkeys to Wegmans, Publix and other major grocers. It claims its turkeys are “humanely raised,” but the company was suspended from certification by the Global Animal Partnership, according to an account in the York (Pa.) Daily Record.