Turkeys abused at Ontario farm, animal rights group claims

Turkeys abused at Ontario farm, animal rights group claims
By Maryam Shah ,Toronto Sun
First posted: Friday, March 14, 2014 10:58 AM EDT | Updated: Friday, March 14, 2014 07:20 PM EDT
TORONTO - An animal protection organization said it’s captured “horrific cruelty” with hidden cameras at a turkey farm near Kitchener.
Mercy For Animals Canada said one of its activists joined a farm owned by Hybrid Turkeys farm for eight weeks. Using a pinhole camera, the undercover worker secretly recorded alleged animal abuse at Canada’s largest turkey breeding company.
“We documented workers violently punching, throwing, kicking, and beating turkeys,” investigations director Twyla Francois alleged. “Workers painfully crushing the spines of turkeys, and bashing in their heads with metal rods and shovels. Turkeys with open pus-filled wounds, rotting eyes and festering infections were left to suffer without proper veterinary care, and birds bred to grow so fast that they were crippled under their own weight.”
Francois said they took the footage — shot between Dec. 2 last year and Feb. 2 — to law enforcement, sparking an investigation.
“We are urging that they lay charges against the workers that were videotaped maliciously beating turkeys with metal rods and shovel,” she said.
Ontario Provincial Police confirmed they are probing the matter, with a criminal investigator on the case. No charges have been laid.
Hybrid Turkeys said four employees, including a supervisor, were suspended with pay, pending further investigation.
A company statement called it an “isolated event” but insisted it “does not take this situation lightly.”
Helen Wojcinski, Hybrid Turkeys’ manager of science and sustainability, said the video shows a euthanasia method incorrectly applied, leading a worker to use force to kill a bird.
“Blunt force trauma is not something that we use within Hybrid,” she said.
While she said the video lacked context, she admitted there is “enough there that says our employees are not following our quality practice and they failed to report it.”
The company stressed it has zero tolerance for animal abuse and has recently introduced video-monitoring of all euthanasia.
But Mercy For Animals Canada — a non-profit group established in Canada two years ago — wants video surveillance extended to all facilities and live-streamed online.
“Cameras are only as effective as the person monitoring them,” Francois said.
WARNING: Graphic content
Turkeys abused at Ontario farm, animal rights group claims | Ontario | News | Toronto Sun (external - login to view)
We can't forget the the horrors the turkey goes through when it is going through the transition from gate to plate
Video prompts probe of abuse at Ont. turkey farm
By Tara Bowie ,Woodstock Sentinel-Review
First posted: Sunday, March 16, 2014 07:59 PM EDT | Updated: Sunday, March 16, 2014 08:20 PM EDT
WOODSTOCK, Ont. -- A Canadian animal rights group has released disturbing video collected over an eight-week period at a Bright, Ont., turkey farm.
Mercy for Animals Canada released the video Friday depicting workers punching, throwing, kicking and beating turkeys at the Hybrid Turkeys farm.
Hybrid Turkeys, a Kitchener, Ont.-based company, is one of the largest turkey breeding companies in the world.
The video, available for viewing at Turkey Torture (external - login to view), also shows workers crushing the spines of turkeys and bashing their heads with metal rods and shovels.
Several turkeys in the video had open wounds, rotting eyes and festering infections.
According to the turkeytorture.ca website, a Mercy for Animals Canada investigator worked at the Bright farm between December 2013 and February 2014. During that time, the secret video of the alleged abuse was filmed.
The video has prompted investigations by the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. After viewing the video, four employees were suspended by Hybrid Turkeys, a release issued by the company stated.
"Hybrid has pledged to fully participate in any and all investigations regarding the matter," the release stated.
Some time last week, the company announced video monitoring of all bird euthanasia at their farms. A third-party investigation to review the company's policies and procedures is also underway.
"As an innovative, responsible company, Hybrid Turkeys is continuously looking for ways to improve our flocks and the care that we provide them at all stages in their life cycle," David Libertini, managing director at Hybrid Turkeys, said in a release.
"The co-operative research initiated with the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare will investigate ways to enhance the care and welfare of our turkeys."
Video prompts probe of abuse at Ont. turkey farm | Ontario | News | Toronto Sun (external - login to view)
Funny, the govt won't look unless someone complains and nobody's allowed to visit steve does love self regulation.Funny how a bunch of slimeballs like harper and his crew seem to think CEOs are so trustworthy.
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