Compassion Over Killing undercover video alleges abuse at MN turkey farm

Screenshot from video produced by Compassion Over Killing
Screenshot from video produced by Compassion Over Killing

Animal-rights group Compassion Over Killing has released an undercover video depicting cringe-worthy conditions on a turkey farm in Starbuck, Minnesota -- just in time for Thanksgiving.

The three-minute video, shot apparently over two weeks with a hidden camera, shows bloody and crusty birds stuffed into tight corners and twisted in machinery.

The birds are also manhandled in order to be artificially inseminated with a plastic tube. The narrator alleges that 25,000 female hens go through this "frightening process" once a week because they're "genetically selected to grow so obese that they can't mate naturally."

See also:
How undercover animal rights activists are winning the Ag-Gag war

The company that owns the farm, Hargin Inc., did not return our phone calls on Tuesday, although Randy Hagen told the Strib that 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.

Where that has not happened, we will thoroughly retrain employees to ensure the guidelines are followed in the future. If we discover willful violations of the guidelines, we will take appropriate action."

The Minnesota Turkey Grower's Association claims the state as the number one turkey producing and processing state in the U.S., with 250 family farmers raising approximately 47 million turkeys annually.

COK claims that some of Hagen's eggs will be sold to another Minnesota-based company, Willmar Poultry, the nation's largest turkey hatching facility that was the subject of a similar undercover investigation, produced by the Humane Society, in 2010.

Just a couple weeks ago, another animal rights group, Mercy for Animals, produced a video from a Minnesota hog farm showing piglets getting castrated without anesthesia and slammed to death on the floor, among other brutalities.

Earlier this month, authorities in Colorado charged three cattle workers with animal abuse after another undercover video, produced by COK, surfaced.

It's getting harder to say with a straight face that these are isolated incidents.

-- Follow Jesse Marx on Twitter @marxjesse or send tips to

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