Turkey Abusers Convicted: One Jailed!

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Posted June 29, 2009 by Rachelle Owen

We’re starting this week off with another historic victory for animals! Check out this blog from PETA’s Karin Bennet!

Late last year, some factory-farm employees were fired from Aviagen Turkeys, Inc. in response to PETA’s undercover investigation, which documented that workers were breaking turkeys’ necks, stomping on their heads, and shoving feces and feed into turkeys’ mouths.

Then, in February, a grand jury handed down 19 indictments, including 11 felony charges, against three former Aviagen workers, marking the first time in U.S. history that factory-farm employees have faced felony cruelty-to-animals charges for abusing birds.

Fast forward: Two of the three ex-employees, Scott Alvin White and Edward Eric Gwinn, recently pleaded guilty to cruelty charges. On June 8, White was sentenced to serve one year in jail—the maximum period permitted by law! Today, Gwinn was sentenced to serve six months’ home confinement—the maximum period permitted by law—on each count, concurrently, and is banned from living with, owning, and working with animals for five years. The case against the third ex-employee, Walter Lee Hambrick, is pending.

These historic victories by no means even the score for the turkeys who were punched and thrown or the many other birds who suffered when they were forced to watch as other turkeys were abused at Aviagen. After watching our undercover video, animal behavior expert Dr. Lesley J. Rogers stated, “It is now known that when social animals, like turkeys, see and hear other members of their species under stress or suffering physical injury, their levels of stress become elevated. Hence, the behavioural stress is widespread in the birds in the vicinity of those that have been injured and/or handled roughly.”

Still, these convictions will remind workers on other factory farms that if they don’t clean up their acts, PETA investigators (and the whistleblowers who tip us off) will have their eyes on them.

Stay loud!
-Rachel
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  • 2111 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    YYYAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!! They get what they deserve.

  • 2111 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    YYYAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!! They get what they deserve.

  • 2114 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    i just watched that hidden camera video! … i … am crying so bad. that is sooooo terrible i am happy that those … those… there is no word for these people… that they are punished!

  • 2115 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    thank goodness! i’m so glad that the company fired the employees right away and didn’t stand up for them at all!

  • 2116 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    i couldn’t watch the whole video. it’s ridiculous.

  • 2116 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    WOOT!! WOOT!! :) Thank you Lord :)

  • 2118 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    That’s amazing.
    Too bad they didn’t get more time in jail. :(

  • 2119 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    yessssssss!

  • 2120 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    Though this Thanksgiving I will be enjoying a Turkey, that doesn’t mean they should be beaten and killed in cruel and unusual ways. Hopefully these guys have learned their lesson, but in the end this is hardly the worst case of animal cruelty, and its hardly the last. Personal note: If I got locked up for killing a turkey, I think I would have learned my lesson, no matter the time. Punishment is a step but education is far more important and far more effective.

  • 2122 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    How can they stand to do that? I can’t even finish watching the video! I’m so glad they were punished! And I’m also glad I watched the videa because I don’t think I’ll be eating turkey this Thanksgiving…. I’m still working on going veg :(

  • 2124 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    Way to go Peta, a fine victory, lets hope tey are locked up with some real bad crims :)
    We need this bringing to the UK

  • 2125 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    I totally agree, I honestly could not get through the whole video. those people deserve a punishment

  • 2125 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    Oh yea! [:

  • 2125 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    6 months isn’t much of a strong punishment for abusing animals and taking their lives.

  • 2125 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    I can not even watch the entire video.. makes me sick!

  • 2125 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    YAY! I think thats not a good enough punishment tho =] Shove feces into their mouths =]

  • Meg

    2125 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    yayyyy!!!!

  • 2125 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    Its So About Time! I Wish More Could Have Been Done, But They Get What They Deserve! Hey Peta :)

  • 2126 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    Way to go PETA!!! AND!! Big pat on the back for all of US supporters!! This is proof that CHANGE CAN HAPPEN!! Never stop speaking for those who can’t speak for themselves!!

  • 2126 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    :/ They should have gotten more time…
    At least its a step to end animal cruelty.

  • 2126 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    awesome x 125656946841!

  • 2126 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    this is great.. they now get what was coming for them..

  • 2126 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    This is great news

  • 2126 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    hell yeah. but those people need more time

  • 2126 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    It still doesn’t make up for the fact of what he did to those poor little birdies (ok, big birdies) but it is a step closer to stopping factory farms.

  • 2126 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Serves them right! They got what they deserved. Still, I think they deserve worse.

  • 2126 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    bout damn time :D

  • 2127 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    SCORE!!!

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