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Butterball Farm Searched For Signs of Animal Cruelty

The Hoke County Sheriff's department is investigating allegations of animal cruelty at a Butterball factory farm near Fayetteville. The investigation started after a group called Mercy for Animals turned over video tape of the farm to the sheriff's department. It shows workers throwing and kicking turkeys and some birds with open wounds. The Hoke County Sheriff's department began searching the farm yesterday. Captain John Kivett says his team is inspecting each of the farm's 2,800 turkeys. "The doctors are checking each bird to see if there are any injuries or sickness in the bird or anything they can visually see," says Kivett. "They're doing inspections of each bird and then my investigators are in there documenting any injuries or maltreatment to the animals." He expects they'll finish the search tonight. So far Kivett says they've found injured turkeys, but it's not clear yet whether humans or other birds are to blame. Butterball says it has a zero tolerance policy for mistreatment of animals or the failure to report incidents of it.