Turkey Company Loses ‘Humane’ Certification, Fires Workers After PETA Exposé

For Immediate Release:
August 31, 2021

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

New Oxford, Pa.

What PETA calls Plainville Farms’ fraudulent humane certification has now been suspended by Global Animal Partnership (G.A.P.), its turkey products have been pulled from Whole Foods, and 13 of its workers have been terminated following an undercover PETA investigation that revealed that turkeys were stomped on, kicked, beaten with a heavy rod, and used in simulated sex acts. The company—whose products are still sold at Wegmans, Harris Teeter, and Publix and still bear “humanely raised” labels—has said that it will start monitoring its operations using body cameras, something PETA calls a meaningless act unless the footage is livestreamed so that a crowd-sourced public can review it and call out any continued acts of cruelty.

“PETA’s footage demonstrates that ‘humane’ certifications cannot be relied upon to protect animals, and the public has the right to know,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “If Plainville Farms were serious about preventing abuse, it wouldn’t raise turkeys as if they were widgets, and the least it can do is show shoppers what’s going on with animals in its sheds.”

Although G.A.P. and its partners claim that their standards prevent abuse, PETA has found abject cruelty to animals—and violations of G.A.P.’s own standards—at all 11 G.A.P.-certified turkey and pig farms that it has investigated. PETA’s investigator found that workers routinely kicked and stomped on scores of turkeys, including those who were sick, injured, and unable to walk. Workers tried and failed to break turkeys’ necks and left them to convulse and die in agony on the floor. Instead of trying to stop this abuse, one supervisor kicked turkeys, too, and berated PETA’s investigator for not doing the same. Workers threw hens at one another like a game of basketball. One worker pretended to masturbate with a dying bird, and one sat on and pretended to rape another bird. A police investigation is ongoing. 

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 TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

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