MIDDLEBURY, Ind. – Undercover video footage depicting incidents of animal abuse at Culver Duck Farms Inc. was released by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on Oct. 11. A video depicting workers improperly and inhumanely slaughtering ducks at the company’s plant was turned over to the Indiana State Police for investigation into the incidents, which the company’s president acknowledged in a statement.

John Metzger, who assumed the role of president of Culver Duck Farms this past April, said he was made aware that someone posing as an employee and intending to capture video footage of animal cruelty was hired in late 2015 and left the company in February 2016, two months prior to his joining the company.

“I was and still am appalled and deeply saddened by the activities shown in the undercover video,” Metzger said in the statement. “These activities are not consistent with our commitment to animal well-being and we have taken action to ensure they are not repeated. We have an ethical obligation to provide outstanding care for our animals and we have accelerated the pace of changes that were already underway to meet that obligation.”

He went on to point out that since he joined the company, Culver has invested more than $1.5 million to improve its facilities and enhance the welfare of the birds. The company has also implemented a training program and has committed to adopting a no-tolerance policy with regard to animal cruelty. He said he agreed to lead the company earlier this year because he was convinced of the company’s commitment to improvement. 

According to the statement: “Much has changed at Culver Duck Farms and we are dedicating ourselves every day to providing excellent animal care. What has been depicted is by no means the Culver Operation today.”