Breaking 6 News Lawrence: Fraternity Turkey Torture
Interview with UPC President Karen Davis, April 29:
Charges may be coming in turkey killing by KU fraternity
Coverage by reporter Liz Zamora on April 29, 2013
Back in April it looked like the Douglas County District Attorney’s office, in Lawrence, Kansas, was about to announce a decision whether to prosecute
the Beta Theta Pi fraternity members at The University of Kansas who tortured this female turkey to death at a party on Friday night December 14, 2012.
This photo shows her at the fraternity house shortly before the fraternity “men,” who “rented” her for the occasion, kicked in the
crate and proceeded to chase her, throw her like a football, carry her upside down by her feet, squeeze her throat, and choke her by the neck. Eyewitnesses
said her wing snapped, then her leg snapped, and she began screaming. An eyewitness watched as a fraternity member shook her violently by her neck until
she died on the front porch of the fraternity house.
The Lawrence Police Department conducted an investigation and forwarded its report to District Attorney Charles Branson to determine whether to charge the
perpetrators with cruelty to animals under Kansas Cruelty to Animals Statute 21-4310. Our requests to the DA’s office for information went
unanswered, so on July 23, 2013, UPC filed a Kansas Open Records Act request. In response we were advised that the requested information is “part of
an ongoing criminal investigation” and therefore “these records are not subject to an open records request.”
Meanwhile, the Beta Theta Pi General Fraternity conducted its own investigation and announced a policy prohibiting live animals at any future fraternity
events. Beyond this, despite promises, nothing is certain. University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little sent a bland letter to people who wrote
to her urging enactment of strict policies against animal abuse by all university residents. Unfortunately, institutionalized animal experimentation is
legally protected, and farmed animals and birds have no protection under the Animal Welfare Act. However, wanton acts of animal cruelty, as in this case,
are illegal in Kansas and in other states. For more information please see
www.upc-online.org/entertainment on our website.