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Published November 23, 2010, 08:32 PM

Humane Society: MN Hatchery Mistreats Turkeys

The Humane Society of the United States says an undercover investigation shows live baby turkeys are routinely abused at a central Minnesota hatchery.

By: Associated Press,

WILLMAR, Minn. (AP) — The Humane Society of the United States says an undercover investigation shows live baby turkeys are routinely abused at a central Minnesota hatchery.

The organization released the results of its investigation into Willmar Poultry Co. on Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving.

Humane Society spokesman Paul Shapiro tells the West Central Tribune it's the society's first investigation at a turkey hatchery.

A Humane Society investigator worked undercover at Willmar Poultry for 11 days last month, using a hidden camera. The society says the video shows sick, deformed and injured birds being thrown alive into a grinder.

In response, the Willmar-based company says its employees receive training on animal welfare policies, but acknowledges that the video shows some workers may not be following those policies.

Willmar Poultry president and chief operating officer Rick VanderSpek tells the Star Tribune of Minneapolis the company might use the video to retrain employees.

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