Factory Farm Workers Charged With Cruelty to Animals in Franklin County Following PETA Exposé

For Immediate Release:
October 6, 2022

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Chambersburg, Pa.

Pennsylvania State Police have charged four former Plainville Farms workers with 34 counts of cruelty to animals in Franklin County following a PETA undercover investigation that revealed workers kicking and stomping on turkeys, including birds who were sick, injured, and unable to walk. PETA’s exposé has resulted in 139 counts of cruelty to animals against 11 former workers—the largest number in any factory-farmed animal case in U.S. history. New Oxford–based Plainville Farms is a supplier to top grocers nationwide, including Wegmans, Publix, and Harris Teeter.

PETA’s investigator documented that after failing to break turkeys’ necks, workers left the birds to convulse and die in agony on the shed floor. Instead of trying to stop this abuse, a supervisor joined in, kicking turkeys and berating the investigator for not doing the same. Workers threw hens at one another like basketballs. One worker pretended to masturbate with a dying bird, and another sat on and pretended to rape a live turkey.

“Nothing can undo the suffering that these helpless, gentle turkeys endured at Plainville Farms, but these charges show other meat companies that cruelty has consequences,” says PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Daniel Paden. “PETA encourages anyone upset by what these battered birds endured to avoid complicity in the abuse on factory farms by choosing vegan meals.”

Following PETA’s investigation, Global Animal Partnership suspended Plainville Farms’ “humane” certification and Whole Foods pulled its turkey “products” from the shelves. Plainville terminated the workers and pledged to start monitoring operations using body cameras—a move PETA deemed meaningless unless the footage was livestreamed so that the public could review it and call out any further acts of cruelty.

PETA has also submitted a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission alleging that Plainville Farms is engaging in false advertising by making claims on its packaging that turkeys on its suppliers’ farms are “humanely raised” in a “stress-free environment.”

Broadcast-quality video footage from PETA’s investigation is available here.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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