Update: A PETA spokesperson says the video mentioned in this story was not as dated as it may seem. She says the footage was recorded between January 15 and March 30, 2016 and was submitted to officials 60 days later on June 1.
It’s being left to the Indiana State Police to determine if a somewhat dated video contains evidence of animal abuse under state law.
John Metzger, who has been president of Culver Duck Farms since April, knew someone in late 2015 and early 2016 had made a video purportedly showing workers improperly and inhumanely slaughtering ducks.
Metzger said he is “appalled and deeply saddened” by what is depicted in the undercover video, which was apparently taken during or prior to February 2016.
“These activities are not consistent with our commitment to animal well-being and we have action to ensure they are not repeated,” said Metzger. “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 these obligations.”
Since he took over at Culver Duck Farms, Metzger says more than $1.5 million has been invested in facilities and training to eliminate animal abuse. Further, the company has implemented a “no tolerance” policy against animal cruelty in any form.
The PETA video shows ducks being kicked, thrown and slammed against walls and kept in isolation. Culver Duck Farms is the second largest duck slaughter operation in the U.S. It supplies numerous retailers.
PETA did not say why it waited before turning over the undercover video to law enforcement.
Indiana has fairly broad animal abuse laws. Prosecutors can pursue both felonies and misdemeanors and judges can impose jail terms and fines, and can order violators never to work with animals again.
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)© Food Safety News