Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

Tracy the Turkey Saved from Slaughter

Release date: 
Friday, December 9, 2005

Viva!, the Bristol-based vegetarian campaigns group, has welcomed the decision of a local radio station to let a turkey used as a publicity stunt live, but have criticised the station for not giving her to Viva! to re-home. GWR, a Bristol-based radio station, had taken the turkey from a local farm and were planning to auction her off to the highest bidder to raise money for charity. This sparked a city-wide debate on what Tracy's future should be: should she be eaten or saved' Viva! waded in to save Tracy from the Christmas knife and played an important part in convincing GWR to let her live. However, the station rejected Viva!'s offer to give her a happy and secure home in the country, and have instead given her to a film production company. Her long time well-being has not been secured. 'Christmas is supposedly a time of peace and goodwill, of feasting and celebration, for spreading kindness and compassion', says Viva!'s Justin Kerswell. "Auctioning off a living being to be slaughtered and eaten hardly seems in the spirit of Christmas. We're delighted that GWR chose to give Tracy the gift of life this Christmas instead. 'However, we are extremely disappointed that the radio station rejected Viva!'s offer to re-home her in the country. Tracy is a sentient animal, not a media prop to be cynically passed from pillar to post. What happens to Tracy once the film production company has finished with her'' Every year in Britain around 28 million turkeys are slaughtered for food " a third of them killed for Christmas. In the wild, they spend their lives roosting in trees and flying at up to 50 mph. They can live as long as 10 years yet 98 per cent of UK turkeys are factory farmed and killed at just a few weeks old. Viva!'s undercover investigations have revealed that for most, their short lives are filled with pain and misery. "We can all save a turkey this festive season,' says Justin Kerswell. "The best Christmas present you can give yourself - and to all animals - is to go vegetarian!' For all those who want to give turkeys a break and go vegetarian this year, Viva! is offering a free Christmas Celebration Feast booklet. Written by Jenny Seagrove from the TV series Judge John Deed, it contains delicious meat-free recipes for all the family. It can be viewed and downloaded at http://www.viva.org.uk/christmas/index.html. For further information, contact Justin Kerswell on 0117 944 1000 or 0786 217 3377, or Toni Vernelli on 0117 944 1000 or 0797 069 0468. [ends]