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  • Petitioned Barry Gum

This petition was delivered to:

Barry Gum
Kerry Doughty
VP Food Safety, Government Regulations, and Public Affairs, Butterball
Joe Nalley (VP Food Safety, Government Regulations, and Public Affairs, Butterball)

Tell Butterball to Stop Breeding Turkeys for Pain

    1. Petition by

      Mercy For Animals

A new Mercy For Animals undercover investigation has revealed a pattern of shocking abuse and neglect at Butterball, the largest producer of turkey products in the United States.

Hidden-camera footage taken at Butterball reveals workers violently kicking and stomping on birds, dragging them by their fragile wings and necks, and maliciously beating them with metal bars. Video shows turkeys covered in flies, living in their own waste, and suffering from serious untreated illnesses and injuries, including open sores, infections, rotting eyes, and broken bones, without any veterinary care.

Unfortunately, the lives of turkeys in Butterball's factory farms are short, brutal and filled with fear, violence and prolonged suffering. While wild turkeys are sleek, agile and able to fly, Butterball's turkeys have been selectively bred to grow so large, so quickly, that many of them suffer from painful bone defects, hip joint lesions, crippling foot and leg deformities, and fatal heart attacks.

This genetic manipulation creates birds that are so large they cannot even reproduce naturally, meaning that artificial semen collection and insemination have become the sole means of turkey reproduction at Butterball facilities.

Even though domestic turkeys have been genetically manipulated for enormous growth, these birds still retain their gentle, inquisitive and social natures. Oregon State University poultry scientist Dr. Tom Savage says that turkeys are "smart animals with personality and character, and keen awareness of their surroundings." In fact, animal behaviorists, veterinarians, and scientists now agree that turkeys are sensitive and intelligent animals with their own unique personalities, much like the dogs and cats we all know and love.

While MFA works to expose and end animal abuse at Butterball and other giants of the meat, dairy and egg industries, you can help by contacting Butterball. Please use the form below to send a polite email to Butterball urging the company to implement meaningful animal welfare policies, including regular veterinary care for sick and injured birds, less cruel killing procedures for sick or injured animals performed by qualified veterinarians, and an end to the genetic manipulation of turkeys to promote unnatural weight gain.

After sending a polite email asking Butterball to make these important changes, consider making a few changes of your own. Every time we sit down to eat, we can choose compassion over cruelty. Adopting a diet free of meat, dairy and eggs is perhaps the single most important and powerful action you can take to prevent needless cruelty to animals. And what better time than the New Year to make a compassionate vegetarian resolution?

Click here to take MFA’s 2012 Vegetarian Pledge and start receiving helpful tips, delicious recipes and friendly encouragement.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 20,000 signatures
    2. DA: State Official Told Butterball Turkey Farm Raid Was Coming

      Law enforcement is going after officials with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture for tipping off Butterball prior to the recent raid of its turkey factory farm by the Sheriff's Department.

    3. Hoke County investigators seize 28 turkeys from farm

      NBC 17 reports that during the raid detectives seized 28 turkeys, 24 were euthanized and four had natural deaths.

      The investigator for Mercy For Animals told the station that on a daily basis, she "was seeing birds who were suffering under extreme neglect, very severe injuries, that went untreated."

    4. Reached 5,000 signatures
    5. CNN Coverage

      (CNN) -- Sheriff's investigators in North Carolina launched a search of a turkey farm they say is owned by Butterball -- the largest producer of turkey products in the United States -- on Thursday after an animal rights organization said it infiltrated the farm and videotaped instances of purported animal abuse.

    6. Reached 2,500 signatures
    7. Butterball Turkey Raided Amid Animal Abuse Allegations

      Acting on allegations of "repeated violations" of animal cruelty, officials in North Carolina raided a Butterball turkey facility this morning.

    8. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Carola Hawner TRIER, GERMANY
      • 3 months ago

      Tell Butterball to Stop Breeding Turkeys for Pain

    • Bärbel Karls GERMANY
      • 3 months ago

      Muss aufhören

    • oliva lacson VALENZUELA, PHILIPPINES
      • 3 months ago

      butterball, stop breeding turkeys for pain

    • Kathy Passafiume ORLAND PARK, IL
      • 3 months ago

      Because I hate when voiceless animals endure pain for human pleasure.

    • Fiona Robinson TAUNTON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 3 months ago

      It takes nothing away from a human to show kindness towards an animal. Put an end to this cruelty now


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