PETA Condemns Killing of Turkey; Group Calls On Mayor to Choose Humane Methods to Handle Wildlife

For Immediate Release:
March 8, 2024

Nicole Perreira 202-483-7382

Louiseville, Quebec

After learning that Louiseville Mayor Yvon Deshaies reportedly encouraged a resident to use a slingshot to kill a territorial turkey—even though wildlife officials had apparently provided the town with tips on coexisting with the bird—PETA fired off a letter today to the mayor, condemning the alleged killing and calling on him to use only humane and legal solutions for any future conflicts with wildlife.

“This turkey was reportedly cruelly killed for simply following his natural instinct to defend his home,” says PETA Emergency Response Team Director Kristin Rickman. “Encouraging vigilantism against wildlife promotes violence as a solution to problems and won’t work to prevent future wildlife conflicts, and PETA urges Mayor Deshaies to choose compassion over cruelty going forward.”

PETA points out in its letter that turkeys are intelligent, loyal animals who will put on a “big act” to protect their family and territory when they feel threatened. Carrying an open umbrella can help prevent turkeys from advancing, and keeping garbage tightly sealed and removing all other artificial food sources will discourage turkeys from lingering in areas where they’re unwanted.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Deshaies follows.

March 8, 2024

The Honorable Mayor Yvon Deshaies

 Your urgent attention is respectfully requested.

Dear Mr. Deshaies:

PETA has received numerous complaints regarding the reported recent statement issued by your office urging residents of Louiseville to arm themselves with bats in response to the presence of a territorial turkey and your apparent decision to arrange for a citizen to kill the bird using a slingshot. We understand that this individual may now be subject to criminal charges as a result, and we urge you to think of the effect of such an action on the juvenile population. Respectfully, we ask that you please consider the following information.

Turkeys’ territorial displays are a completely normal and natural occurrence. This turkey was only following his instincts, and to arrange for his death—and by cruel means—was callous and unnecessary. Like dogs, turkeys are intelligent and loyal animals who can be excellent guardians of their homes (and remember, our cities were home to wildlife long before we moved in). When they feel threatened, turkeys will put on a big show to defend their territory and mates. The following humane methods should be employed to encourage animals to move on of their own volition in future.

Residents should be advised to carry an open umbrella to deflect turkeys’ advances. To discourage turkeys from lingering in areas where they’re unwanted, residents and businesses should store garbage in tightly sealed containers (using bungee cords on lids), feed companion animals indoors, and never feed wildlife (including songbirds). Statues of natural predators (such as foxes, bears, or cougars), mylar streamers, windsocks, air dancers, and other items that move in the wind, as well as sonic devices such as Yard Gard repellers, will also deter birds from areas where they are unwanted—be sure to rotate and relocate devices weekly to maintain the effect.

We encourage you to consider the impression this incident will have had on young residents, who will have taken away the lesson that those who are different from us—those whom we do not understand—are a problem to be eliminated. Encouraging children to seek to understand others and to exercise compassion allows them to grow into well-rounded leaders who will be equipped to find solutions in our ever-changing world.

These animals are simply trying to survive and protect their families. I hope you can appreciate that to some degree. I would be happy to discuss more options with you, and our wildlife specialist stands ready to advise further if needed. May we please hear back from you that the Ville of Louiseville will only engage in humane and legal wildlife-control methods?


Katie Terwilliger, Cruelty Caseworker
Emergency Response Team
Cruelty Investigations Department
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

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