Butterball Accused of Animal Cruelty (Again)

Just in time to make you buy a different turkey for Thanksgiving, Mercy for Animals releases a video exposé in Butterball's turkey farms

Just in time to potentially ruin Butterball's annual Thanksgiving haul (apparently Butterball LLC claims to sell 13.8 million turkeys each year, most of them around Thanksgiving), Mercy for Animals has released an exposé video showing a list of abuses at a Butterball turkey farm.

The undercover video, embedded below, allegedly shows Butterball workers stomping on birds, dragging them by their wings and necks, and throwing turkeys on the ground.

Last year, a Butterball turkey farm was raided right after the holidays, after Mercy for Animals released a similar video showing alleged animal abuse at the turkey farms. After the investigation last year, five Butterball employees were charged with felony and misdemeanor animal cruelty charges.

"The abuses shown in this video are identical to the abuses documented in last year's Butterball investigation, which led to criminal cruelty to animals charges and convictions. These behaviors are cruel, inhumane, and injurious to the birds. I am appalled at the disrespect these workers have toward the lives of other living creatures," Dr. Greg Burkett,a veterinarian who was present for the Butterball raid, said in a Mercy for Animals press release.

In the meantime, Butterball has launched an internal investigation, suspending the "associates in question," a Butterball representative said. "Butterball is aware of the video released today by Mercy for Animals, and we take any allegations of animal mistreatment very seriously," a statement from Butterball said. "As has been our long-standing policy, we have a zero tolerance policy for animal abuse." Let's hope these videos don't become a yearly holiday tradition. Watch the disturbing video below.

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itsfoodnotapet's picture

Ok people get over it! you don't get mad when a crab or lobster is bound by the claws with rubber bands and kept in crowded tanks. and don't for get the fact that they are cooked to death still alive when you put them in the pot. its food not a dog or cat and in some countrys they eat them too these people need to get a life.


Grams- bouning them off the door of a transport cage isn't normal?... beating them with a stick(s) isn't normal... kicking (not moving them with one's foot) isn't normal... If Butterball is not responsible for it's employees actions... then why does Butterball employ managers to oversee it's operation if not to manage it's employees and protect the company's interest?... Butterball is responsible for it's employees actions and should be held accountable since this isn't the first time allegations of animal cruelty have been made against Butterball. No doubt the timing of "Mercy For Animals" is questionable and inteneded to cast a bad light on Butterball at this it's make or break time of the year, but so be it.
Maybe now Butterball will mandate it's employees conduct themselves in accordance so the consumer will no longer have to wonder if the company that processes it's turkey is just another greed first company cashing in on a unsuspecting public that wants only to sit down and enjoy the holiday tradition of turkey dinner with friends and family w/o the guilt now associated with it.


I will never buy another Butterball product again, period!

Grams's picture

I do not like cruelty to animals but I also have worked with these animals and some of what I seen is just normal. Picking them up by the wings to move them or using your foot (not kicking) is normal ways to move these animals. They are very often stubborn and do not like to move. Our turkeys were freerange on the farm. The people that are guilty of abuse should be fired and held responsable for their actions. Butterball on the other hand is not completely responsible for their employees actions if they take the proper steps to try and change the situation. People who have not been raised on or worked with animals should not be allowed to judge.

NicoleFrancisE's picture

Jessica, thank you so much for sharing this story!! Here's a link with some cruelty-free recipes everyone might be interested in: http://www.mercyforanimals.org/thanksgiving-recipes.aspx

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