Hoke County investigators seize 28 turkeys from farm - WNCN: News, Weather

Hoke County investigators seize 28 turkeys from farm

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By Justin Quesinberry

NBC-17 has obtained new documents about last week’s raid on a Hoke County turkey farm.

Investigators with the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office raided Butterball’s Farm 11 in Shannon after a worker there shot undercover video of alleged abuse. The woman, who asked NBC-17 not to reveal her identity, is a contract investigator for Mercy for Animals. She spoke first to NBC-17 last week.

"Every single day I was seeing birds who were suffering under extreme neglect, very severe injuries, that went untreated for the entire time I was there,” she told NBC-17.

“You can see it in their eyes. They're responding to the pain and the suffering that they're experiencing,” she said.

The documents include statements to Mercy for Animals by 10 animal experts who watched the video. All condemn what they saw as "inhumane and unacceptable."

The search warrant application went on to state there may be animals "that are suffering from unjustifiable pain or suffering that may require being euthanized" by a veterinarian.

The documents indicate that during the raid detectives seized 28 turkeys, 24 were euthanized and four had natural deaths.

Investigators also took a number of documents including a five-page employee list, 48 employee time cards, eight “new employee animal welfare agreement forms,” a “Butterball, LLC Animal Welfare Program Document, flock welfare report, blood test and mortality records.”

Other items seized include: “livability records,” manuals, policy letters and “milking” documents.

Hoke County Sheriff’s Capt. John Kivett, who’s handling questions from the media about the case, declined to comment about the search warrants Thursday night. There’s no word on if or when any charges could be made in the case.

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