An activist for the animal protection organization Mercy For Animals (MFA) went undercover, working at a Butterball facility in North Carolina for three weeks, and the resulting video clips led to a Hoke County Sheriff’s Department raid this morning.

The largest turkey producer in the U.S. now faces an animal cruelty investigation after video recorder by the undercover activist showed workers throwing, kicking, dragging, and beating turkeys, as well as birds suffering from bloody open wounds and infections.

Nathan Runkle, the MFA’s executive director, alleged Butterball “is guilty of extreme animal abuse and should be held criminally accountable.”

Butterball did not immediately respond for comment.

"Before ending up in restaurants and grocery stores, our investigation shows turkeys killed for Butterball are routinely crowded into filthy warehouses, neglected to die from festering, bloody wounds, and thrown, kicked, and beaten by factory farm workers,” he said.

Malicious animal abuse can be found a felony under North Carolina state law.

In the video, posted by the MFA at, workers are seen bashing the heads of live birds with metal bars, kicking and stomping on birds, dragging them by their wings and necks, and throwing them into transport trucks. The video also shows turkeys covered in flies with untreated injuries and open wounds.

According to the MFA, Butterball's turkeys are selectively bred to grow so large, so quickly, that many of them suffer from bone defects, hip joint lesions, crippling foot and leg deformities, and fatal heart attacks.

Butterball produces 20 percent of the country’s turkey, according to the company’s web site.

Video released by MFA last month of alleged abuse at Sparboe Farms, one of the nation's largest suppliers of eggs, revealed abuse which the company's CEO called "disturbing" and led to the firing of employees.

McDonald's and Target stopped accepting eggs from Sparboe Farms.