United Poultry Concerns January 15, 2008

January 15, 2008

Ted Seger, Chairman
Joel Brandenberger, President
National Turkey Federation
1225 New York Avenue NW, Suite 400
Washington DC 20005
Via Certified Mail and Email to Info@turkeyfed.org

Dear Mr. Seger & Mr. Brandenberger:

An investigation by Animals’ Angels last January 25th found turkeys being trucked from Des Moines to a Sara Lee slaughter plant in Storm Lake, Iowa without protective cover in subfreezing weather. The truck sat for an additional two hours in the dark at the plant on a day of frigid 16-degree F temperatures including 14 mph winds and 85-90 percent humidity. http://www.upc-online.org/saralee/index.htm. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KV95U0QF7uY.

Sara Lee claims adherence to “strict” NTF Animal Care guidelines. However, the “Market Live Haul” section of this Website document says merely that “Truck travel distances, weather and other factors can affect the birds’ well-being enroute and must be considered. . . . Wind protection in winter and water cooling in summer is important to minimize stress.” These are vague observations, not guidelines.

Please strengthen your guidelines to include specific recommendations for reducing the suffering of turkeys being trucked to slaughter and sitting outdoors at the beginning and end of their journey.

Please recommend strongly that tarpaulins, sideboards and/or other protective devices – clearly identified – be used to protect turkeys from painful frostbite and cold stress when temperatures reach 32 Degrees F and lower. Wind-chill and humidity must be factored in as well. Humidity adds to the birds’ suffering by absorbing their body heat and the humidity on January 25 was recorded by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration as 85-90 percent. It is extremely inhumane to keep turkeys sitting in coops outdoors in such weather; yet your “animal care” guidelines allow this to happen for as long as twenty-four hours.

I hope you will agree that turkeys deserve to be protected from extreme weather conditions. To provide such protection, please revise your guidelines to state specifically what these conditions are, and what specific protective devices and practices are necessary under these conditions to reduce the suffering of the birds.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to your response.


Karen Davis, PhD, President
United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405
Phone: (757) 678-7875
Email: karen@upc-online.org
Website: www.upc-online.org

United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. www.upc-online.org.

United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
FAX: 757-678-5070

Home | What's New? | News Releases | Action Alerts | PoultryPress | Resources | Merchandise | Links | E-mail