PETA exposes horrific animal torture at ‘humane’ Whole Foods turkey supplier

Workers at a farm which supplies stores including Whole Foods with ‘humanely-raised’ turkey were filmed torturing the animals – with one man even simulating masturbation with a dying bird.  

Horrifying undercover footage obtained by a worker who was secretly moonlighting for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) also showed workers stomping, kicking and hitting birds.

It was shot at Plainville Farms in New Oxford, Pennsylvania, which also supplies stores including Publix and Harris Teeter. Birds were filmed convulsing with pain after being fatally wounded by the workers, and left to die on the concrete floor of a harshly-lit barn. 

Pennsylvania State Police received a probe on Plainville Farms from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which told the New York Post on Thursday that their animal cruelty office is ‘currently’ reviewing the information by the animal advocacy group.

The footage was shot by a PETA activist who worked 11 shifts at 10 different Plainville in July and August this year, with the firm claiming to raise birds ‘humanely’ in a ‘stress-free environment.’ 

Plainville Farms have been called out by the PETA for treating turkeys with 'abject cruelty'

Plainville Farms have been called out by the PETA for treating turkeys with 'abject cruelty'

Plainville Farms have been called out by the PETA for treating turkeys with ‘abject cruelty’

In undercover footage filmed by a PETA investigator, views can observe staff at Plainville farms kicking, punching and stomping on turkeys

In undercover footage filmed by a PETA investigator, views can observe staff at Plainville farms kicking, punching and stomping on turkeys

In undercover footage filmed by a PETA investigator, views can observe staff at Plainville farms kicking, punching and stomping on turkeys

‘A worker picks a bird up, tries to break her neck and then puts her between his legs. Holding her by her injured neck he mimics masturbation,’ PETA says in the footage, reviewed by DailyMail.com

‘[The worker] then drops her on the floor, kicks her and then leaves her to die.’  

The disturbing footage shows workers picking the turkeys by their necks, or by their fragile wings, and throwing them across the room, at each other and at other turkeys ‘like it’s a game,’ PETA said. 

Workers can also be seen kicking injured or dying turkeys on the ground. 

‘Every night at every farm the crew worked at, the investigator saw catchers repeatedly and viciously kick and stomp on dozens of turkeys, many of them sick, injured, weak or even too lame to stand up,’ PETA states in the video.

‘Dead and dying turkeys can be seen every night on every farm. They receive no treatment for illness or injury but instead are left to die slowly and in pain.’

PETA said one crew position is even called ‘kick’ — and the worker’s main job is to ‘give turkeys a boot when they don’t move,’ the group said.  

Workers at Plainville farms can be seen picking up the hefty birds by their fragile wings or by their necks before throwing them in the air across the farms

Workers at Plainville farms can be seen picking up the hefty birds by their fragile wings or by their necks before throwing them in the air across the farms

Workers at Plainville farms can be seen picking up the hefty birds by their fragile wings or by their necks before throwing them in the air across the farms

‘Instead of trying to stop this abuse, one supervisor himself kicked turkeys and repeatedly encouraged workers to abuse birds,’ PETA said.

‘He and other workers berated PETA’s investigator for not kicking birds and instead picking them up and calmly herding them, even saying he should ‘get a new job’ since he wouldn’t do things the ‘right’ way by abusing animals.’

PETA’s investigator captured footage of an instant when a workers is holding a garbage bag open ‘like a basketball hoop to toss the birds into’ and ‘workers trying and failing to break the birds’ necks’ and then ‘tossing them aside or dropping them to the floor,’ the group said.   

‘Still alive, the turkeys convulsed and were left to die in intense pain,’ added the narrator in the PETA video.

Following their investigation, PETA said they submitted a complaint with the Pennsylvania State Police’s animal cruelty office, which is currently reviewing evidence from the group’s probe, a PSP spokesperson said.  

The PETA said in a statement that Plainville Farms' GAP certification is nothing but 'consumer fraud'

The PETA said in a statement that Plainville Farms' GAP certification is nothing but 'consumer fraud'

The PETA said in a statement that Plainville Farms’ GAP certification is nothing but ‘consumer fraud’

Plainville Farms boasts on their website that ‘humane treatment is the heart of our business’ and they ‘work every day to promote the wellness of our flocks and animals, raising them in a stress-free environment where they never know hunger.’

‘The barns are temperatures [sic] controlled and provide plenty of room to roam, ensuring that the birds are raised comfortably,’ Plainville Farms wrote on their website under their ‘animal welfare’ tab.

‘We do everything we can to ensure our flocks are comfortable, whether they’re at the family farm or in transport. We raise our flocks on family farms in a stress-free environment and maintain the same level of care during their stress-free transportation.’

In the disturbing video produced by the PETA, injured or dying turkeys can be seen laying on the ground

In the disturbing video produced by the PETA, injured or dying turkeys can be seen laying on the ground

In the disturbing video produced by the PETA, injured or dying turkeys can be seen laying on the ground

Plainville Farms is also certified by the Global Animal Partnership (GAP), one of the largest animal welfare food labeling programs in North America, which was created in 2008 by the CEO of Whole Foods Market, John Mackey.

If store-bought meat is certified by GAP, consumers are promised the animals are raised ‘in a safe enriched environment,’ among other wellness factors like a healthy, vegetarian diet and space to move around.  

PETA said Plainville Farms’ GAP certification is nothing but ‘consumer fraud.’

‘Every turkey sandwich represents the pain and fear of a gentle bird who wasn’t shown any kindness in his or her short, sad life,’ PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said in a statement.

PETA is asking the president of Plainville Farms, Tom Donovan, to ‘terminate the abusive workers’ and for GAP to ‘drastically change its certification program by prohibiting labeling designed to deceive customers.’

PETA is putting pressure on popular grocery store Whole Foods to 'investigate its suppliers and highlight its many vegan options.'

PETA is putting pressure on popular grocery store Whole Foods to 'investigate its suppliers and highlight its many vegan options.'

PETA is putting pressure on popular grocery store Whole Foods to ‘investigate its suppliers and highlight its many vegan options.’

In response, GAP said they ‘condemn the unacceptable actions in this video in the strongest terms.’

‘Treating any animals this way is appalling, and goes against everything we stand for. We have contacted our third party certifier to immediately conduct a thorough investigation,’ the group said.

PETA is also calling on Whole Food, Harris Teeter and Publix to ‘investigate its suppliers and highlight its many vegan options.’

Plainville Farms responded to DailyMail.com’s request for comment, saying ‘the video is horrific, despicable and goes against everything this company stands for.’

‘We have already launched an internal investigation into this incident – from the top down – and if any of our employees were involved, they will be held accountable’

‘We believe it’s important for incidents like this to come to light. Plainville Farms was founded more than 100 years ago with a commitment to the highest standards in animal welfare.’

‘Today is no different. This company is passionate about its values and is unwilling to compromise on them. Make no mistake, Plainville Farms’ number one priority is animal welfare.’

The Whole Foods turkey supplier added that ‘although we have stringent protocols in place to prevent these types of incidents from occurring, if these are our employees, clearly we failed somewhere along the way. 

‘We remain committed to setting the gold standard for the health and well-being of our turkeys, and will do whatever it takes to achieve that goal and make sure something like this never happens again.’

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