Two former turkey catchers for Plainville Farms have entered guilty pleas and were sentenced in a case where they were accused of animal abuse.
Juan Carlos Turi Baeza and Jose Enrique Turi Baeza entered the pleas at the Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas. Both were sentenced to 12 months of supervised probation, and neither can obtain employment in positions that would involve the care of animals during that 12-month period, according to a press release from animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
The animal cruelty claims were first raised by a video circulated by PETA in August 2021. The video depicted scenes of turkeys being thrown, kicked and picked up by their necks.
Charges against 10 other former Plainville Farms workers remain pending, with those charges filed in multiple counties.
Shortly after the video surfaced, Plainville Farms announced it was cooperating with law enforcement agencies and had launched its own investigation into the matter. The result of that investigation was the termination of 13 employees, as well as the purchase of body cameras for a third-party animal welfare specialist to monitor all live operations by employees.
The company also replaced catching employees with a third-party vendor to provide catching services.
Previously part of Hain Celestial’s Hain Pure Protein segment, Plainville Farms was acquired in 2019 by a newly-formed investor group known as Plainville Brands LLC.
Plainville Farms, according to the WATTPoultry.com Top Poultry Companies Database, processed 90 million pounds of live turkeys during the past year. It ranks as the 15th largest turkey company in the United States.