Six animal rights activists have been charged with felony theft and up to 10 years in prison by the county prosecutor in Sanpete, Utah following a nine-month investigation of national turkey supplier Norbest, based in Moroni, Utah.
The activists, who were working with global animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere [DxE], say they removed a sick turkey chick from a massive industrial shed in order to take the animal for veterinary treatment.
According to the activists, taking the bird they have named Abby to the vet, was an 'act of compassion' - despite prosecutors calling the action criminal.
DxE Co-founder and Lead Investigator Wayne Hsiung, one of the defendants, said: "Rescuing a dying bird is not a crime; it's an act of compassion.
"Abby was collapsed in her own feces and dying. We did what any good person would do: we took her to the vet.
"The public has a right to know what’s happening to make their food, and most Americans are horrified by the cruelty in these farms. This prosecution isn’t about a dying bird but about the industry’s efforts to prevent truthful information from reaching the public."
DxE filmed themselves rescuing Abby the turkey
According to DxE, its 2017 investigation uncovered 'rotting, diseased birds eating one another alive with birds packed shoulder-to-shoulder in filthy industrial sheds'.
The group adds: "Records from within the facility indicated that diseases such as hepatitis were spreading through the flock and that the farm had, in at least one case, resorted to the mass use of penicillin in the water.
Norbest claimed the circumstances uncovered by activists were 'isolated incidents'.
Maria is a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer. Her writing has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.
Since you're here...
Plant Based News is a FREE service that receives millions of views each week on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, our weekly newsletter and this website. This takes a lot of our personal time, money and hard work. But we do it because we KNOW it makes a difference. If those following our reporting helped by contributing, we could do even more. Please consider supporting us so we can create further awareness about animal rights, environmentalism, ethical consumerism and the plant-based lifestyle. Not a false narrative - but information that empowers people to make better choices.