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ALACT Public Meeting

All welcome when we return :)

Griffin Centre
20 Genge St, Civic


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The following facts highlight some of the key points of the turkey industry’s inherent cruelty in Australia.


Most commercially raised turkeys spend their entire lives in crowded sheds with thousands of other birds. Up to 5,000,000 turkeys are killed each year in Australia for meat. On average, up to 14,000 turkeys are placed in a shed at once. This equates to six birds per square metre of space, which means each bird spends his or her entire life in space no bigger than an A3 sheet of paper.

A turkey factory farm near the ACT, with birds aged approximately 10 weeks old.


Turkeys often feel stressed and frustrated in their cramped, artificial conditions and can resort to neurotic behaviour such as feather plucking and even cannibalism. Farmers manage cannibalism by amputating a portion of the turkeys’ beaks (debeaking). These surgical procedures are done when the turkeys are only a few days old, without anaesthetic, and with no aftercare for pain or infection. If this were done to a cat or dog it would be illegal.

Genetic Modification and Health Problems

Today’s factory farmed turkeys have been so genetically altered that they are often barely able to walk. As a result of this genetic manipulation, turkeys suffer painful health problems such as crippled legs and feet and swollen joints. Turkeys are susceptible to heart disease and experience great difficulty in supporting their overweight bodies. The stress of factory farm conditions weakens animals’ immune systems. Turkeys often develop wounds (due to the overcrowded conditions) which become smothered in their own waste, causing painful infections. Poor air quality can cause respiratory and eye diseases and contribute to reduced food intake, causing weight loss and lameness. Thousands of lame and ill birds who are unable to reach food and water invariably end up dying of starvation. Due to these conditions, high mortality rates are common in turkey factory farm sheds.


A sick turkey at a factory farm near the ACT. Photo by L. Drew

Artificial Insemination

Factory farmed turkeys are reproduced by artificial insemination. Workers milk the male turkeys by stroking and masturbating the birds’ penis until they ejaculate. The milked semen is collected, laced with extenders and antibiotics, and injected via a syringe into the female turkey.

rescued turkeys

Rescued turkeys at a sanctuary in NSW.

rescued turkey 3 leg problems

Another rescued turkey at a sanctuary in NSW. This turkey suffers from common leg problems as a result of growing too fast. Photo by L.Drew

For a full copy of a university research report on factory farmed turkeys in Australia by an Animal Liberation ACT committee member click here. For further information on our campaign about turkeys visit



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