(ANIMAL CRUELTY) NORTH CAROLINA — The animal rights group, Mercy For Animals, has released a video showing the abuse experienced by turkeys at the Butterball turkey raising facility in North Carolina. Last week authorities raided the facility to investigate the animal abuse claims.

This new investigation follows in the footsteps of the Mercy For Animals undercover video released in November 2011 exposing the horrendous living environment and abuse suffered by hens and chicks at Sparboe Farms. The employee actions displayed in these videos are despicable, but the resulting public outrage and the support of authorities in bringing the animal abusers to justice demonstrates that people are starting to wake up to endemic animal cruelty and attempting to do something about it. Read more on this recent investigation. — Global Animal

Photo captured by an undercover Mercy for Animals investigator at the North Carolina Butterball shows the abuse of turkeys. Photo credit: Mercy For Animals

Huffington Post

County sheriffs in North Carolina raided a Butterball turkey raising facility this morning to investigate claims of animal cruelty, after the animal rights group Mercy For Animals released a video depicting what they are calling serious animal abuse.

Butterball officials released a statement indicating that the company was complying with the officials and has a strict policy against animal cruelty.

If that’s the case, there could be trouble ahead for more than a few employees. The video shows multiple turkey handlers kicking, throwing and dragging birds around the Butterball farm. It also features images of sad-looking turkeys marred by disfiguring, likely painful, ulcers and sores, not to mention missing feathers. It’s by no means inconceivable that the location in the video might face the kind of repercussions that egg producer Sparboe Farms felt at the hands of McDonald’s and Target after its own history of animal cruelty was revealed.

The timing of the release date seems a little strange. Mercy For Animals might have had a bigger impact if they’d circulated the video in advance of the Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey buying seasons. That might have encouraged customers to move away from factory farmed turkeys in favor of pricier — but often more humanely raised — heritage turkeys. But better late than never.

Here’s the undercover video. A warning: the following depicts animal cruelty, so some images may be disturbing, especially to young viewers.

More Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/29/butterball-turkey-raid_n_1175274.html