Undercover video shows abuse of baby turkeys at Butterball hatchery


Hidden-camera video taken by an undercover investigator with Mercy For Animals at Butterball — the world’s largest producer of turkey meat — shows baby turkeys being routinely mutilated without painkillers, ground up alive in a macerating machine, and carelessly thrown, dropped, and mishandled by Butterball workers.

Watch the undercover video here: http://youtu.be/OJovxS9-RTQ

While the video shows scenes that may be disturbing to some viewers, you may be surprised to learn that Butterball breaks no laws by searing the baby turkey’s beaks off and slicing the tips of their toes off without painkillers.

Poultry are expressly exempt from all federal laws that protect farm animals from abuse.  In fact, there are no federal laws that protect animals while they are on the farms they are raised.  Two federal laws cover farm animals during transport and slaughter, but tragically, all poultry species are excluded, making these protections inapplicable to 95% of land animals killed for food.


The ugly economics of chicken farming

1387164_10580358The Week examines the ugly economics of chicken farming.  During the 1960s, Tyson Foods realized that chicken farming was a losing game and decided not to invest in this part of the vertically integrated meat industry.  As a result, farmers who wish to raise chickens are forced to join Tyson or try competing with the giant corporation.

“Tyson has off-loaded ownership to the farms, but it maintains control. The company always owns the chickens, even after it drops them off at the farm; it doesn’t sell baby chicks to the farmer and buy them back when they’re grown. So the farmer never owns his business’s most important asset. Tyson also owns the feed the birds eat, which is mixed at the Tyson plant according to the company’s recipe and then delivered to the farm on Tyson’s trucks according to a schedule that Tyson dictates. Tyson dictates which medicine the birds receive to stave off disease and gain weight, and Tyson field veterinarians travel from farm to farm to check the birds’ health,” according to the article.

Read more

Shame on you, Kentucky senators!

Gestation Crates Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Legislation in Kentucky that was designed to set euthanasia standards for shelter animals took an unexpected turn when it went to the state Senate, where critics claim lawmakers “snuck” in a new, controversial provision that could actually hamper animal abuse investigations.

Kentucky State Representative Joni Jenkins originally sponsored House Bill 222 in January to eliminate the use of gas as a means of euthanasia on animals in shelters.

“Kentucky gets such a terrible rating about the way we deal with our animals,” Jenkins told ABC News Wednesday. “House Bill 222 was an attempt to raise this up a little bit.”

But after the bill left Kentucky’s House of Representatives for the state Senate, the Senate Agriculture Committee added language that Jenkins said made the bill “much more complicated, and maybe even unconstitutional.”

The Senate committee had added a provision that would make it illegal to interfere with agricultural operations by “obtain[ing] access to an agricultural operation through misrepresentation,” or filming hidden camera footage of farm operations – making the bill the latest of the controversial so-called “ag-gag” legislation…

Read more from ABC News