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Former Butterball worker pleads guilty to animal cruelty

Posted April 4, 2013

— A Raeford man pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of animal cruelty that stemmed from a December 2011 raid at a Hoke County Butterball turkey farm.

Deputies raided the Shannon farm after animal-rights group Mercy for Animals provided a hidden-camera video that showed farm workers beating and stomping on turkeys.

Ronnie Jacobs, 58, of 4475 Rockfish Road, is the last of five workers charged in the case to be convicted. All five also lost their jobs at the farm.

Dr. Sarah Mason, director of animal health programs in the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Poultry Division, also pleaded guilty to her role in informing a veterinarian for Butterball that Hoke County prosecutors were reviewing the undercover video. She was placed on probation for a year.

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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Apr 9, 4:23 p.m.

    @curiousgeorgia, humans do not need animal protein of any sort. Eat a colorful diet of fruit, veggies, legumes and you will have more than you need. And, you won't have to worry about osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, etc. After 25+ years as a veg, I'm excellent proof of the science behind that statement.

    @notthemama, why go to extremes? Just reduce the amount of animals you eat (even once per week) and your body (and the environment & the animals) will thank you.

  • curiousgeorgia Apr 5, 4:13 p.m.

    While it would be nice to be able to give up animal proteins what is a person who is allergic to beans, flax and wheat supposed to eat? This is a genuine question, not one to start and argument, okay?

  • notthemama Apr 5, 1:25 p.m.

    So if everyone will just stop eating meat, then this will no longer be a problem and we can put those evil meat packers out of business!!!

  • Carrboro-resident Apr 5, 11:31 a.m.

    Pressure from management for faster processing and poor working conditions in animal factories and slaughterhouses make it nearly impossible for workers to not inflict some kind of cruelty. The bottom line for these companies is money, not compassion. Consumers of animal products are implicit in this exploitation too. Think before you eat.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Apr 5, 9:13 a.m.

    So, do you want to know the way that these meat industries are addressing their animal cruelty problem? They hired meat lobbyists to make undercover investigations illegal. Ag-Gag laws, they're called.

    That's right. Don't allow people to see what they're doing and everyone can continue to ignore the real issue.

    This was a big story last month everywhere about this...but you probably didn't hear about it, right? Several states have passed, or are passing, these Ag-Gag laws to make it illegal to protect animals in factory farms from cruelty. They will self-regulate. Right.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/03/how-state-ag-gag-laws-could-stop-animal-cruelty-whistleblowers/273962/

    You have choice, everytime you sit down at the table to eat, to increase or decrease the amount of violence and cruelty in this world. It makes a difference!

  • Scubagirl Apr 5, 9:12 a.m.

    please do NOT give this man just a slap on the wrist. NC has GOT to start sentencing abusers with large fines and prison time; if not it won't stop!