Animal Advocates Confront Norbest Turkey CEO At Utah Turkey Pardoning After Release Of Horrific Factory Farm Undercover Video

(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) Animal rights activists crash the annual Utah turkey pardon and Thanksgiving seasonal message by Governor Gary R. Herbert Tuesday, Nov. 21 on the Utah capitol plaza. Turkey farmer Marlin Steadman, left, tries to keep “Grateful” the turkey calm during the interruption. The ceremony then continued and the governor pardoned “Grateful” the 40 lb. Tom Turkey raised in Sanpete County. He will live out his days at the Thanksgiving Point bird refuge.

Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) was back in action one day after releasing horrific video of sick, suffering, and dead turkeys that was filmed as part of its nine-month undercover investigation at a Norbest turkey plant in Moroni.

Yesterday, two activists from the animal welfare organization that seeks “total animal liberation” and advocates a plant-based lifestyle, interrupted the Utah governor’s Thanksgiving pardoning of a turkey.

Armed with graphic photos which revealed the inhumane conditions Norbest turkeys live in, the men shouted; “show us all the barns,” as they approached the company’s president and CEO Matt Cook who was speaking at the time.

As reported by WAN at the beginning of the week, the devastating video and photos challenge Norbest’s claim that its “practices are humane, with the health and comfort of the birds of paramount importance.”

As per the Salt Lake Tribune, Cook responded immediately that “despite what some people may think, we have very clear animal care policies.”

Really? The only thing that seems to be clear from DxE’s findings is that Norbest’s animal care is deplorable.

Yet in a statement on the company’s website, Cook said “We will re-examine every step in our training and inspection process to determine whether there is more we can do to guarantee our animal care standards are met. My goal is to prevent such an unfortunate situation from ever being repeated.”

There is obviously much more the company can do to properly care for the turkeys it raises to kill.

While Utah Governor Gary Herbert, who proceeded to pardon a 40-pound turkey named Grateful, did not mention the incident when he took the stage, a spokesman for the Republican governor later said in a statement that Utah expects farmers to meet the highest safety and humane standards.

“Norbest has assured us that they have proactively addressed these issues prior to the publicity they have received,” said Paul Edwards on behalf of the governor, “and we will be monitoring their progress closely.”

The unidentified DxE members were not arrested and cooperated with police leaving the Capitol.

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