Plainville Farms, one of the largest producers of turkey-based products, has recently had their humane certification suspended due to an undercover investigation conducted by PETA into their operations. Using a hidden camera, a PETA investigator visited 11 turkey and pig farms and discovered first-hand evidence of animal-cruelty.
Each of the 11 farms were certified as humane by Global Animal Partnership (G.A.P.), who claims to hold standards which prevent abuse. G.A.P. is a nonprofit created to promote and oversee the welfare of farmed animals. To receive certification, farms must complete a 5-step process. To date, G.A.P. reportedly oversees 290 million farm animals across many of America’s well-known brands.
Undercover footage of Plainville Farms’ operations reveal the shameful and abusive way workers treat turkeys. The laundry list of maltreatment includes kicking and stomping sick and injured turkeys, grabbing turkeys — which on average weigh 40lbs — by the neck and throwing them across the barn, and even attempting to break their necks by holding the turkey’s body between their legs and pulling. To add to the torturous hodgepodge, the investigator even witnessed some workers simulate sexual acts with turkeys. Despite the evidence, Plainville Farms’ still regards PETA’s remarks as allegations.
In response to the “allegations,” Plainville Farms’ has issued a statement, which can be read in full on their website’s homepage. In the statement they pledge to fully cooperate with law enforcement in addressing PETA’s accusations. In doing so, all live operations team members will be required to wear body cams. However, PETA doesn’t consider body-cams an appropriate response unless they’re live-streamed to allow public review of the practices. The surveillance footage is reported to be routinely monitored internally and by third-party animal welfare experts, although the third-parties have not been listed. As of today, the individuals featured in the undercover footage have been terminated.
While a police investigation is on-going, Plainville Farms’ products have been pulled from Whole Foods, yet continue to be available at most food retailers and still retains the label “humanely raised."