Urge Virginia Tech to Release Ailing Turkeys to a Sanctuary!

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What becomes of the turkeys who are “pardoned” by the president after Thanksgiving? You’ll be shocked by what PETA found when we visited “Gobbler’s Rest” on the campus of Virginia Tech, where four turkeys “pardoned” by President Donald J. Trump in 2018 and 2019 have evidently been kept in squalor ever since.

Video captured onsite shows that conditions for the birds are abysmal.

Two of these highly social birds are kept penned alone. None can dust bathe or roost—things that are natural and important to them—or even hide from bright artificial lighting. A veterinarian who reviewed the video footage opined that these conditions present “numerous, cumulative, and chronic stressors that severely compromise the physical and psychological well-being of these turkeys.”

The turkeys are evidently so frustrated by their barren conditions that they’re pulling out their own—and each other’s—feathers. Their remaining feathers are often stained brown, which could be symptomatic of severe stress and gastrointestinal ailments or could simply show that the birds cannot avoid their own feces in the cramped pen.

We sent a letter to the dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech offering to place the birds in a reputable sanctuary, but he has ignored us for months. PETA has secured placement for these birds and is standing by to transport them to a place of true rest for the remainder of their lives.

Please, urge Virginia Tech leadership to make the compassionate choice for these elderly, ailing individuals so that they can finally enjoy true retirement, complete with opportunities to experience the outdoors and feel grass beneath their feet.

Virginia Tech

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