HARRISBURG, PA. — Eleven former Plainville Farms employees were charged for inhumane treatment of turkeys at seven farms across central and southeastern Pennsylvania, announced the Pennsylvania State Police.

Corporal Michael Spada, animal cruelty officer in the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Investigative Services Section, filed criminal complaints alleging the defendants kicked, stomped and beat turkeys. The charges include six felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, 76 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and 57 related summary offenses.

“This was a lengthy, detailed investigation that involved reviewing a lot of evidence at multiple locations,” Spada said. “I’d like to thank the outside agencies for their involvement and Plainville Farms for their cooperation.”

The investigation began in August 2021 after undercover footage was made public from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) depicting animal cruelty at a Plainville Farms turkey supplier’s farm.

Plainville Farms terminated the offending employees identified in the video, and the company lost its “humanely raised” claim, which was certified by Global Animal Partnership (GAP).

Plainville Farms cooperated with the ongoing investigation and noted that animal welfare remains a top priority for the company.

“While we have had stringent animal welfare protocols in place, we will never hesitate to implement new approaches to ensure that we live up to our reputation for excellence and the ethical treatment of animals,” the company said in a statement responding to the footage.

After the incident, Plainville Farms invested in body cameras for workers to wear for surveillance purposes and going forward the company is conducting spontaneous animal welfare audits.