Joey Carbstrong Releases ‘Shocking’ Investigation Into UK Turkey Farm

Millions of turkeys are killed for Christmas each year


4 Minutes Read

Injured turkey at an intensive turkey farm in Thirsk, filmed during an investigation by Joey Carbstrong The investigation revealed diseased and dying birds left to suffer at the turkey farm - Media Credit: Joey Carbstrong

Warning: This article contains images that some might find distressing

An investigation into a UK turkey farm in the run-up to Christmas has revealed “shocking” conditions.

The investigation, led by vegan activist Joey Carbstrong, revealed dead, dying, and diseased birds left to suffer at Sandybank Farm in Thirsk, North Yorkshire.

The farm is run by UK food business Avara Foods, which supplies supermarkets including Tesco, Asda, Lidl, Sainsbury’s, and Morrisons.

Turkeys suffer at UK farms

People in the UK consume 10 million turkeys each Christmas. In his latest investigation, Carbstrong filmed inside a turkey farm to show consumers the suffering they are supporting.

Footage at the farm shows birds confined to cramped, unsanitary spaces. Workers can be seen kicking and hitting birds. They are also seen grabbing birds by the neck and throwing them around.

Some workers are also seen appearing to laugh at dying birds.

A Red Tractor spokesperson has confirmed that the company has suspended Sandybank Farm after reviewing the footage.

Carbstrong said in a statement: “Most turkeys in the UK spend their short sad lives on intensive factory farms. Thousands of these birds are packed into windowless sheds, where there is no natural light or fresh air, and where they are forced to live in filthy conditions, where disease and the cannibalism of dead and dying birds is common.”

Red Tractor assured turkey farm

Investigators visited Sandybank Farm on multiple occasions between November 19 and December 14. Each time, they used secret cameras to document more evidence of the suffering of turkeys.

Red Tractor standards for poultry include “The birds are able to keep clean.” Another standard states that “All staff must be demonstrably competent to carry out their job.”

In the investigation, Carbstrong films diseased birds lying in their own excrement. Workers can be seen laughing and pointing at dying birds.

Avara Foods states on its website: “We are committed to protecting the health and wellbeing of the animals in our care. All of our sites are Red Tractor assured as a minimum and subject to high standards and regular audits.”

A spokesperson for Red Tractor told Plant Based News: “The evidence we have reviewed so far gives cause for concern about how birds are being managed and handled, and about the training and management of staff. We immediately suspended the farm and the catching team concerned. Our investigation is ongoing.”

Christmas without the cruelty

As knowledge of the cruelty of animal farming grows, more people are switching to fully plant-based festivities.

Carbstrong said: “Our investigation vividly brings to life the sad reality of the lives of farmed Turkeys in the UK, a country that is said to have some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world.

“Our footage proves that welfare regulations will never be able to protect these animals. Where there is demand, there will be abuse taking place to satisfy that demand.”

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