Hybrid Turkey employees accused of abusing birds appear in court
Workers allegedly shown clubbing and kicking turkeys at an Oxford County turkey manufacturer in an undercover video made court appearances Wednesday in Woodstock.
Animal cruelty charges were laid last month by the Ontario SPCA against five employees of Kitchener-based Hybrid Turkey, as well as the company itself, after video shot by Mercy for Animals Canada at the company’s plant in Bright was made public.
It marked the first time in Canadian history animal cruelty charges resulted from an investigation by an animal protection group.
In addition to the company, those charged include two 22-year-old Kitchener men, Matthew Brethour and Ryan Barnes, 50-year-old Kitchener resident Kevin Schenk, 39-year-old Stratford resident William Leblanc and 31-year-old New Hamburg resident John Burnard.
They face a total of 11 charges, including permitting distress and failing to kill an animal humanely.
Penalties if found guilty include up to two years in jail or a fine of up to $60,000.
Lawyers on both sides – who declined to speak with CTV News on Wednesday – are expected to review evidence in the case, which includes 10 hours of video footage, before the case returns to court in November.