Feds Find Over 1,000 Turkeys Dead on Trucks; PETA Calls For Criminal Probe

For Immediate Release:
September 19, 2023

Brittney Williams 202-483-7382

Marshall, Minn.

Newly released U.S. Department of Agriculture reports reveal that over the course of just three days in January, at least 1,181 turkeys died while being hauled up to 600 miles in temperatures as low as minus 6 degrees to the Turkey Valley Farms slaughterhouse in Marshall—part of a years-long string of horrors documented at the operation. In response, PETA fired off a letter to Marshall City Attorney Matthew B. Gross calling on him to investigate and file applicable criminal charges against the individuals responsible. The group also rushed a letter to General Manager Les Goff urging him to livestream video footage publicly from the Marshall slaughterhouse and from all the company’s haulers and factory farms and to report the responsible parties to local police and Gross for investigation.

Many of the birds who died had “little to no feathers,” according to the reports, and survivors were wounded, bleeding, and shivering. Nearly 200 more turkeys apparently suffered from hypothermia before being slaughtered. PETA notes a pattern of egregious pain and cruel deaths en route to and at Turkey Valley Farms, including a worker who “slammed” a hen against shackles multiple times; live, conscious turkeys plunged into scalding-hot water on at least six occasions; and seven trailers with cages so severely crowded that the turkeys inside them were forced to stand on top of each other, apparently causing some to suffocate.

Turkeys in transport truck cages. Credit: PETA

“These sensitive turkeys were subjected to agonizing pain and terrifying deaths at the hands of Turkey Valley Farms, which treats them as nothing but commodities,” says PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Daniel Paden. “PETA is calling for an investigation on these animals’ behalf and for Goff to livestream his company’s operations publicly, and we remind everyone that the only humane meal is a vegan one.”

PETA is pursuing charges under state law because federal officials haven’t prosecuted any inspected slaughterhouses for acts of abuse since at least 2007.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview, and offers a free vegan starter kit on its website. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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