Local News

Butterball workers arrested on animal cruelty charge

Posted February 23, 2012

— Hoke County deputies have arrested two men sought on animal cruelty charges at a Butterball turkey farm.

Billy Thomas McBryde, 52, of 22-A West Gate Terrace in Red Springs, surrendered late last week, and Brian Gerrard Douglas, 35, of 7140 Laurinburg Road in Raeford, was arrested Thursday.

Garner-based Butterball said five current and former workers at the Shannon farm were charged with animal cruelty last week. Three of the workers were fired in January, and the other two were suspended last week, the company said.

The other three men, Ruben Mendoza and Terry Johnson, no ages or addresses available, and Ronnie Jacobs, 57, of 4475 Rockfish Road, Lot 22 in Raeford, were arrested last week.

The charges stem from a Dec. 29 raid by Hoke County deputies at a Butterball farm in Shannon. Animal-rights group Mercy for Animals made a hidden-camera video that showed farm workers beating and stomping on turkeys.

Investigators found some turkeys at the farm were in such poor condition that they had to be euthanized.

Dr. Sarah Mason, director of animal health programs in the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Poultry Division, called a veterinarian for Butterball six days before the raid to inform him that Hoke County prosecutors were reviewing the undercover video.

Mason pleaded guilty last week to misdemeanor charges of obstruction of justice and resisting, delaying or obstructing officers. She was placed on probation for a year.

The agriculture department suspended Mason for two weeks without pay following an internal investigation of the incident.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • archangel44369 Feb 27, 2012

    Sucks for he animals being treated like garbage...glad they arrested those people.
    Now, do you want white or dark meat to go with the cranberry sauce?

  • quiturwhining Feb 24, 2012

    Denial is an amazing thing.
    You can lay the human terms "nice" & "not nice" on an animal & if they're "not nice," whatever that could possibly mean, you can do what you want to them. But you cannot consider that the animals might feel fear or pain. That's only for humans.
    "I'm all for animal rights and all BUT ..." Right.
    Those poor guys who were stomping & throwing those animals, they need their jobs. The mean guys shouldn't have told on them. After all, none of us have any responsibility, ethics, or morality. Or heart, or brains.
    Processing? You mean killing? Yes. And others here have pointed out why abusing & torturing still isn't acceptable. But I know, that's a hard position to take. It requires having boundaries, ethics, morality, brains, etc.
    Bart, thanks for adding the inevitable inane, pointless vegetable comparison to the discussion.

    Consider this. You put the flesh of these animals in your body. They've been constantly stressed & in pain. That affects their health. Yum.

  • wdclark Feb 24, 2012

    Cut their heads off, boil them in hot water, but you better not kick or stomp them....where in this world has common sense gone?
    No, I don't want people to stomp and kick any animal, but to be arrested for doing such is beyond my understanding. Who do we arrest when a moth flies around a light bulb, and burns his wings where he can no longer fly, who do we arrest when a lobster is put into scalding hot water, what about bug spray, can we be arrested for killing a fly, I guess not, as long as we don't pull his wings off first.......hey, I got one, who do I sue when a deer runs out in front of my car causing me to wreck, Man! think of that! If we give animals and bugs the same rights as humans, we need protection too! what a world...what a world...

  • sllenterprises Feb 24, 2012

    It's sad that in 2012, people care more about "how" any animal is treated that we consume more than important matters like loss of jobs, rising taxes, rising gas prices, crime, obesity, lowered education, etc-no, it's whether or not animals are treated humanely. You know what's next, there will be a law that all restaurants must submit information on how the food they serve was treated before it was killed or picked out of the ground! All I know is when I go to Bojangles, I want a chicken sandwich, I could care less if the chicken was used as a basketball, just make sure it's juicy and delicious!! Geez people, get a life already!! Until animals can vote, pay taxes, or work, they are here for our entertainment and food purposes, nothing more, nothing less!!

  • dirkdiggler Feb 24, 2012

    "sneak in a camera to make sure people lose their incomes this day and time is unexcusable"

    So is torturing animals when it's against the law. There are many unemployed, DECENT people who deserve those jobs more than those who can't do their jobs correctly.

  • hfmichael Feb 24, 2012

    Ladies and gentleman....abuse is abuse, regardless of an animal or human. There are many humane ways to harvest an animal that don't require kicking and stomping. Ignorant savages resort to savage acts when not trained properly and supervised. Furthermore, the state vet that called ahead to warn them obviously knew that there was wrong doing there and tried to help cover it up. She was placed on a year probation....WITHOUT PAY I HOPE!!! I would like for you to imagine what other things may be covered up when no one's looking???

  • THE OLD - THE NEW Feb 24, 2012

    To much time on their hands to get a real job, so must make sure those that do work lose theirs.

  • Bartmeister Feb 24, 2012

    Before long, there will be some group claiming that tomato pickers aren"t respectful enough for the fruit they pick.

  • 1775 Feb 24, 2012

    Aren't these animals being "processed" for consumption? I'm struggling to understand this one. I guess I'm too desensitized to death and tragedy to empathize.

  • Rebelyell55 Feb 24, 2012

    and other thinking,logical, adults.
    Ezekiel c23 v19to20
    February 24, 2012 10:46 a.m.
    ....That might be true ... but that don't enclude you. Silly rabbit get out my hat. lol