Undercover Investigation By Mercy For Animals Reveals Horrific Cruelty At Ontario Turkey Factory Farm

Hidden-Camera Footage Reveals Turkeys Kicked, Beaten with Metal Rods and Shovels, and Left to Die - Animal Protection Organization Calls for Agricultural Industry to Adopt New Animal Welfare Standards

TORONTO, March 14, 2014 /CNW/ - Shocking hidden-camera video of animal abuse secretly recorded at Hybrid Turkeys, the country's largest turkey breeding corporation, was released by the animal protection organization Mercy For Animals Canada this morning. The disturbing undercover footage reveals turkeys kicked and thrown by workers, violently beaten with shovels and metal rods, and crowded into filthy warehouses, left to die from festering and bloody wounds.

Mercy For Animals Canada is calling on the National Farm Animal Care Council, the Canadian agricultural industry organization that establishes codes of practice for producers, to amend the turkey codes to ensure that all sick or injured birds are provided with immediate treatment by a qualified veterinarian; that the turkey industry immediately stops breeding turkeys to grow so rapidly that they become crippled under their own weight; and that video monitoring systems be installed in all facilities that handle farmed animals and footage streamed live onto the internet in an effort to help prevent abuse.

The undercover footage, recorded at a Hybrid Turkeys factory farm near Kitchener, Ontario, reveals

  • workers punching, throwing, kicking, and beating turkeys;
  • workers 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 left to suffer without proper veterinary care; and
  • birds bred to grow so quickly that they became crippled under their own weight.

Based on the evidence gathered by Mercy For Animals Canada, Ontario law enforcement has initiated a criminal cruelty to animals investigation. The investigation is ongoing.

After reviewing the undercover footage, Dr. Ian Duncan, professor emeritus of applied ethology in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the University of Guelph, stated: "It is not appropriate to kick, punch, or swing birds. This is gratuitous cruelty."

In a race to increase profits for the meat industry, turkeys have been selectively bred to grow so large, so quickly, that many become crippled under their own weight. Others suffer from painful bone defects, hip joint lesions, foot and leg deformities, and fatal heart attacks.

"This investigation graphically illustrates that the hidden price of Canadian turkey meat is horrific animal abuse," said Twyla Francois, Mercy For Animals Canada's director of investigations. "Consumers should think twice before supporting an industry that beats, kicks, and neglects animals to suffer and die with festering wounds. This is blatant animal cruelty that shouldn't be supported in a civilized society."

To view the undercover video, visit www.turkeytorture.ca.

About Mercy For Animals Canada
Mercy For Animals Canada is a nonprofit organization established in 2012 as a sister organization to Mercy For Animals in the United States. MFA Canada is dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies. Over 99 percent of the cruelty to animals in Canada occurs at the hands of the meat, dairy and egg industries, which confine, mutilate, and slaughter approximately 700 million land animals each year in Canada alone. MFA Canada aims to expose this cruelty to the public and to effect meaningful change for abused farmed animals through undercover investigations, public education, legal advocacy, and corporate outreach. For more information, please see www.mercyforanimals.ca.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140314/LA83220

SOURCE: Mercy For Animals Canada

For further information:

Krista Osborne, 416-666-3093


PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com

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