PETA to FTC: Bar Turkey Company Implicated in Cruelty Exposé From Using ‘Humanely Raised’ Label

For Immediate Release:
October 6, 2021

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

New Oxford, Pa. – This morning, PETA submitted a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging that Plainville Farms—whose workers were caught stomping on, kicking, and beating turkeys in a recent PETA exposé—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.”

Plainville’s workers were recorded routinely kicking and stomping on scores of turkeys, trying and failing to break turkeys’ necks and leaving them to convulse and die in agony on the floor, beating turkeys with a heavy rod, throwing hens at one another, and miming sex acts with the birds. Following PETA’s exposé, Whole Foods dropped Plainville as a supplier—but the company’s products are still sold at Wegmans, Harris Teeter, and Publix stores with “humanely raised” labels affixed.

“No shopper would consider a turkey who was thrown like a basketball to have been ‘humanely raised,’” says PETA Foundation Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Animal Law Jared Goodman. “The only truly humane meal is a vegan one, and PETA is calling on the FTC to stop Plainville Farms from misleading well-intentioned customers.”

PETA’s complaint also notes that Plainville’s website claims that the company raises animals under the “highest standards,” but the conditions on these farms have been found to meet only the lowest possible standards allowed by its certifier, which permit confining turkeys to crowded, barren, indoor enclosures.

PETA has asked the FTC to require Plainville to stop using “humanely raised” labels on turkey packages, to disclose the actual conditions under which the animals were raised on any future Plainville-labeled products, to remove all “stress-free” references in its advertising, and to stop making clearly misleading claims such as “We do everything we can to ensure our flocks are comfortable.”

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

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind