Undercover video alleges abuse at Minnesota turkey farm


Two days before Thanksgiving, an animal rights group has released an undercover video that it says shows filthy and dangerous conditions at a western Minnesota poultry farm, where turkeys are shown to be bleeding, infected and entangled in the cages where they are raised.

The Star Tribune reported the farm is Hargin Inc., located near Starbuck in Pope County, which raises more than 25,000 hens.

The website for Compassion Over Killing has the video, which it says was recorded by a worker with a hidden camera. The 3-minute video shows turkeys in tight quarters with injuries to their faces, feet and wings. It also reveals workers tossing the turkeys about in order to get to their eggs or have them artificially inseminated. The narration alleges that injured turkeys do not receive veterinary care and some are left to die.

The newspaper reported that Hargin owner Randy Hagen said his farm “strives to comply with all aspects of the National Turkey Federation’s animal care guidelines, including guidelines for humanely euthanizing turkeys that are injured or sick." He said the company will retrain employees to make sure guidelines are followed in the future.

According to the Minnesota Turkey Grower's website, Minnesota is the No. 1 turkey producing and processing state in the U.S., with 250 family farmers raising approximately 47 million turkeys annually. A turkey from a farm in Badger, Mn. was chosen to travel to Washington, D.C. for the annual presidential pardon.

Last month, WCCO had the story of an animal rights group called Mercy For Animals that shot undercover video at a hog farm in Pipestone, recording gruesome images they say showed abuse. The video captured hog handling practices by several workers that the group says constitute animal cruelty.

The video also revealed castrations and tail docking on young pigs performed without the use of anesthesia.

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