For Immediate Release:
January 19, 2022
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Moroni, Utah – PETA obtained a U.S. Department of Agriculture report that just became publicly available revealing that workers at the Pitman Farms, Inc., slaughterhouse outside Moroni left turkeys who had been severely injured in a truck crash to languish inside the vehicle for hours—so this morning, the animal rights group sent a letter to Sanpete County Attorney Kevin L. Daniels requesting a criminal probe and appropriate cruelty-to-animals charges.
According to the federal report, the truck carrying the turkeys overturned at approximately 1 a.m. on April 28, crushing the caged birds, and arrived at Pitman Farms at approximately 6:30 a.m. Yet workers there didn’t finish unloading the truck until around 11:30 a.m., meaning that injured turkeys weren’t put out of their misery until up to five hours after arriving at the slaughterhouse and more than 10 hours after the wreck. Despite at least one similar incident that previously occurred at Pitman Farms, the inspector noted that the slaughterhouse “did not have a plan in place to address the injured birds promptly.”
“If anyone left severely injured dogs to languish in agony for hours, they would face multiple charges of cruelty to animals, and turkeys suffer the same way and are also protected by law,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is calling for a criminal investigation into the horrific fates of these turkeys, who feel pain and fear every bit as much as the animals we share our homes with.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Daniels follows.
January 19, 2022
The Honorable Kevin L. Daniels
Sanpete County Attorney
Dear Mr. Daniels:
I’m writing to request that your office (and the local law-enforcement agency, as you deem appropriate) investigate and file applicable criminal charges against Pitman Farms, Inc., (aka “Moroni Turkey Processing”) and the workers responsible for leaving turkeys who were severely injured in a truck crash to suffer for up to five hours at its slaughterhouse located at 350 S. 300 West St. near Moroni. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documented the incident in the attached report, which the agency just made available to the public.
According to the report, on April 28, at approximately 1 a.m., the tractor trailer hauling these and many other turkeys “left the roadway and landed on its side.” At approximately 6:30 a.m. that day, the trailer and birds arrived at Pitman Farms. More than an hour later, “there were no signs of impending action” to remove the animals from the coops they had been crushed in. It wasn’t until approximately 11:30 a.m. that all these birds were finally unloaded. Some of the turkeys were “seriously injured,” according to the federal inspector, and only relieved of their suffering more than 10 hours after the wreck and five hours after their arrival at Pitman Farms. Despite at least one similar incident at the slaughterhouse, the inspector wrote, “management did not have a plan in place to address the injured birds promptly.”
This conduct may violate Utah Code § 76-9-301 (2) (a). Please note that FSIS’ action doesn’t preempt criminal liability under state law for slaughterhouses or their workers who perpetrate acts of cruelty to animals. To learn more about FSIS’ findings, please contact its district manager, Dr. Robert Reeder. Please let me know if I can assist you. Thank you for your consideration and for the important work that you do.
Vice President of Evidence Analysis
Cruelty Investigations Department