KITCHENER, Ont—Hybrid Turkeys, a Hendrix Genetics Ltd.-owned Ontario turkey breeder, has plead guilty to one count of animal cruelty, according to the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The plea comes in response to a complaint received by the SPCA in March 2014 surrounding the treatment of animals on a farm operated by Hybrid Turkeys. The charge stated the company failed to exercise reasonable care and supervision of the euthanasia of animals. Hybrid Turkeys has been sentenced to a $5,600 fine, which is payable to the Ontario Court.
“The law outlines the standards of care for all animals across the province,” says Chief Inspector, Connie Mallory. “These standards include acceptable forms of euthanasia and apply to everyone, including companies and organizations.”
The case first surfaced after Mercy For Animals Canada released an undercover video that showed several disturbing scenes including what appeared to be birds living with open wounds and an employee hitting a bird with a shovel. The organization said this instance is the first time a company has been found guilty of animal cruelty as a result of an undercover video.
“This case graphically illustrates the cruel, inhumane, and illegal abuses that turkeys and other farmed animals are forced to endure on Canada’s factory farms,” Mercy For Animals Canada’s president, Nathan Runkle, said “While we praise law enforcement for securing a landmark cruelty conviction in this case of horrific animal abuse, the meager fine doesn’t fit the crime. This factory farm got a slap on the wrist for clubbing animals over the head. We must do more to protect animals on factory farms from sickening cruelty.”
Mercy For Animals is calling on the National Farm Animal Care Council to amend the turkey codes to ensure that all sick or injured birds be provided with immediate treatment by a qualified veterinarian.