The animal activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced Sunday that President Donald Trump’s pardoned turkeys are living in squalid conditions at Virginia Tech.
In the images and video, the group says the turkeys are being confined to stalls where they are pulling out each others’ feathers due to stress.
The animal activist group sent a letter Thursday to Dr. Alan L. Grant, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, urging him to “relocate these birds to a reputable sanctuary.”
“If the ceremony on the White House lawn means anything, these turkeys should be given a chance to live as turkeys should — but instead, they’re serving a life sentence without so much as the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch.
“PETA is asking Virginia Tech to let us give these turkeys a chance to enjoy companionship, fresh air, and sunshine at a reputable sanctuary, as they deserve,” Nachminovitch added.
The organization said the pardoned turkeys at “Gobbler’s Rest” do not have the opportunity to do what normal turkeys do, such as perching and roosting.
The 2018 “pardonees” are kept locked up in separate cages alone even though turkeys are social creatures, according to PETA.
PETA said the 2019 “pardonees” have brown stains on their feathers due to gastrointestinal distress or simply because they cannot avoid sitting in their own waste.
To take things a step further, the animal activist group sent a veterinarian in December to “Gobbler’s Rest” to check out the living conditions.
The veterinarian said in a memo that there were “numerous, cumulative, and chronic stressors that severely compromise the physical and psychological well-being of these turkeys.”
Trump has kept the tradition of pardoning turkeys at the White House for all four years he has served as president in the White House.