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A 'bootiful' Christmas? Not for Bernard Matthews turkeys .. 

If you believed the TV adverts, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Bernard Matthews turkeys enjoyed Christmas like the rest of us. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.

In the early 2000s, Viva! filmed undercover three years in a row at Bernard Matthews sites. This year we returned to see if anything had changed. It hasn't, turkeys are still crammed into massive industrial sheds and are sent to slaughter at a fraction of their natural lifespan.


Stand up for turkeys!


Each year, around 18 million turkeys are slaughtered in the UK – with around 10 million killed for the Christmas market alone. The vast majority of them spend their short lives in vast industrial sheds and never go outside. Don’t buy turkey meat. Go vegan with Viva!.

Amazing birds!

Amazing turkey

Turkeys have a zest for living and, treated with respect, they become very friendly. Turkeys have large, dark, almond-shaped eyes and sensitive fine-boned faces. Wild turkeys roost in trees and roam in woodlands, eating vegetation and insects. An adult bird can fly up to 50mph!

Factory farmed for Christmas

Millions of turkeys are factory farmed in Britain every year

Intensively farmed turkeys are fattened up so quickly that often their legs cannot support them. They collapse and try to drag themselves along by their wings. Tens of thousands die because they cannot get to food and water points. They become so fat that their hearts can actually explode.

Many turkeys have the ends of their beaks cut off to stop plucking and cannibalism – behaviour caused by stress. This can be distressing and leave them in permanent pain..

Bloody bad cheer

At the slaughterhouse, most are hung upside down and dragged through an electrified water-bath to stun them. It doesn’t always work and many birds are still fully conscious when their throats are cut.

Save lives!

Have a turkey-free Christmas. Viva! have loads of amazing vegan Christmas recipes for a cruelty-free festive bonanza!

Read more about turkeys and the conditions they are raised in our updated factsheet.

Please also consider a donation to help us continue to expose animal abuse. If you like what Viva! does and want to become part of our work why not join today?

Footage filmed by Viva! Campaigns Ltd.

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