Bernard Matthews investigates animal cruelty allegations

Bernard Matthews is investigating allegations of cruel treatment to birds at one of its Norfolk plants following allegations by an animal welfare group.

Bernard Matthews is investigating allegations of cruel treatment to birds at one of its Norfolk plants following allegations by an animal welfare group.

The welfare group, operating out of the Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Frettenham, has released video footage which apparently shows turkeys being kicked

by workers at the Bernard Matthews plant in Wreningham.

Bernard Matthews responded to the release of the footage in a statement which read: "We take animal welfare very seriously and we will not tolerate cruelty to any of our turkeys. We work closely with the relevant bodies, including local and national government authorities and animal welfare organisations, such as the RSPCA, to ensure wemaintain the highest standards in this area.

"We have launched an urgent investigation and if this footage proves to have been from a Bernard Matthews

farm we will take the appropriate disciplinary action."

A year ago two Bernard Matthews employees at its plant in Heringland , Norfolk, were found guilty of

cruelty charges before a local court after secret video footage showed them playing baseball with live

turkeys.

The latest video is alleged to show an employee dressed in overalls kicking birds before as they are

loaded into crates.

Commenting on the video Wendy Valentine, founder of the Hillside Animal Sanctuary, said: "This is totally unacceptable cruelty. The man is just going up to the turkeys and booting them for no apparent reason. They are well aimed kicks at individual birds. He is not just using his feet to gently move them out of the way. We have the best animal welfare laws in the world but they are not

applied enough."

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