Brian Douglas, a former worker at a North Carolina Butterball turkey farm, plead guilty today to animal abuse charges and was sentenced to 30 days in prison.
Douglas and several other employees were caught on a hidden camera abusing the butterball turkeys. (You can watch the butterball turkey abuse video here.)
Mercy For Animals describes the video, saying that the farm workers are seen “violently kicking and stomping on birds, dragging them by their wings and necks, forcefully throwing turkeys, and bashing in the heads of live birds with metal bars.”
USA Today reports that Douglas was sentenced to 30 days in prison and 42 months of probation and was ordered to pay a $550 fine. The cases for the other workers involved in the animal cruelty are still pending.
Nathan Runkle, executive director of Chicago-based Mercy for Animals, said:
“Butterball allowed a culture of cruelty and abuse to fester at its company-owned factory farms. This case graphically illustrates that the secret ingredient in Butterball turkey is criminal animal abuse.”
Butterball said that the employees in the video had been fired and that it would retrain its farm workers on how to care for animals.
The company said in a statement:
“Animal care and well-being are central to who Butterball is as a company, and we are committed to the care and well-being of our turkey flocks… We are closely re-evaluating our animal care and well-being policies and practices and have already established several new initiatives.”
You can watch the Butterball turkey abuse video here. Do you think Douglas should have been sentenced to more than 30 days in jail?