A Butterball farm in Winston-Salem, N.C., was raided last week by police after animal abuse claims from animal rights group Mercy for Animals. An edited video taped by an undercover employee at the facility allegedly showed live turkeys being kicked, thrown, hit and dragged by the wings or head, reports Reuters.
No arrests were immediately made in connection with a search warrant executed late last week. Veteranarians were examining more than 2,000 turkeys at the farm.
The video was collected during several weeks in November and December by an activist who got a job at the company's turkey semen collection facility in Shannon, N.C., said Nathan Runkle, the organization's executive director.
In a statement Thursday, the company said it was taking the allegations seriously. In addition to working with authorities, Butterball said it was performing its own internal and third-party audits.
"Butterball has a zero tolerance policy for any mistreatment of our birds or the failure to immediately report mistreatment of our birds by any associates," the company said. "Employees found in violation of Butterball's animal welfare policies will be subject to immediate termination."
Source: Reuters, MSNBC