German company Lohmann Tierzucht (LTZ)—the parent company of Aviagen Turkeys, Inc.—is facing cruelty-to-animals charges as a result of evidence gathered by PETA Germany. Authorities have issued warrants for alleged violations of Germany's Animal Welfare Act (including amputating the toes and crests of millions of chickens in order to distinguish their breeds and sexes). Convictions could bring sentences of up to three years of imprisonment plus fines.
You'll remember that PETA's 2008 undercover investigation of Aviagen documented that workers were breaking turkeys' necks, stomping on their heads, and shoving feces and feed into turkeys' mouths. Three former Aviagen workers were indicted on cruelty-to-animals charges—the first-ever felony indictments for cruelty to farmed birds by factory farm workers in the U.S. All three men were convicted and sentenced; one was sent to jail and all were barred from owning or working with any animals for five years.
Written by Paula Moore