RALEIGH, NC (WECT) – Two workers were
found guilty of animal cruelty after hidden-camera investigation at Butterball
factory farms in North Carolina.
Terry Johnson and Billy McBride were
found guilty by a judge in Raleigh. In
late 2012, two other Butterball workers, Brian Douglas and Ruben Mendoza were
also convicted of criminal cruelty to animals from the same investigation.
The latest conviction marks the
first-ever felony conviction for cruelty to factory-farmed poultry in US
"It certainly sets an important legal
precedent that animals matter," said Matt Rice, the head investigator for Mercy
For Animals. The agency conducted the
undercover investigations. Rice said it
sets an important legal precedent the organization can use in the future to
protect more farmed animals in the future.
The investigation found workers
kicking and stomping turkeys at a facility in Shannon in late 2011. The investigation also found evidence of
workers bashing in the heads of live birds with metal bars.