There are only a couple smoking-gun moments in a new PETA-released video depicting the treatment of animals (alive and dead) at a facility in Alexandria, but they're pretty memorable.
One that will stick with people who care at all about animals: The sight of two workers lifting a crate-ful of pigeons from a vat of water. The pigeons were purportedly alive before they went in.
And, perhaps, for quite a while after: One veterinarian said drowning a pigeon could take "as long as ten minutes," during which time the birds would "panic, hyperventilate, and struggle to keep their heads above water," before holding their breath as long as they could, before "vomiting, painful airway spasms, and finally, loss of consciousness" -- which, by then, must feel like a relief.
The clip was recorded by an animal rights activist who surreptitiously got hired at Bio Corporation, a Minnesota company that sells preserved animals to classrooms for dissection; PETA says the group makes "millions" off this practice. Frogs sell for $0.90; those drowned pigeons can be had for as little as $9.90, depending on size; "buy in bulk and save," Bio Corporation's website advertises.
The footage was recorded last month, according to Newsweek, and a local judge has instructed police to investigate the facility's practices. The Alexandria Police Department took more than two weeks to follow the judge's orders.
In another disturbing portion of the video, a worker tells the activist that sometimes turtles -- which are supposed to arrive at the warehouse already dead and frozen -- "sometimes... come back to life," adding that it's "pretty fucking cool" when it happens. The turtles are then re-frozen, killing them.
That's still a better way to go than what happens to crayfish, which Bio Corporation injects with latex while they're fully alive. One of PETA's experts says this would likely cause "prolonged pain and suffering" before death.
Animal euthanasia is required by Minnesota law to be carried out by or under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian, and "unnecessary pain and suffering" is outlawed.
Contacted by Newsweek, Bio Corporation owner Bill Wadd said he was not aware the judge had ordered police to investigate his business, and said rank-and-file workers "generally" are not killing animals at the facility. That's in direct conflict with the story told by the activist who went undercover, who says the scenes captured on video were "business as usual" at Bio Corporation.