Farm cancels charity turkey auction after vegan pressure

A farm has cancelled a planned charitable turkey auction after coming under pressure from vegan activists.

Nine turkeys were due to be auctioned off at St Werburgh’s City Farm in Bristol this weekend to raise money for homeless people living in the area.

The farm, which “keeps animals, grows livestock and helps the local community learn about the outdoors”, has cancelled the auction after receiving complaints from vegans.

See also: How to deal with activists and difficult neighbours

The auction was due to be held at the city farm’s Winter Fayre this weekend.

Bristol Vegan Action (BVA) has offered a sanctuary for the nine turkeys that were due to be auctioned. But the farm owner says the birds will still be slaughtered for their meat.

Sanctuary offer

BVA set up a crowdfunder to raise money for the farm’s chosen homeless charity in return for the farm freeing the birds with Coppershell Farm Sanctuary, Wiltshire, offering to take all nine birds in.

In a statement, St Werburgh’s said: “We are aware raising animals for meat is an emotive issue, and having listened to the views of a small section of our community, we have decided not to hold our annual turkey auction.

“However, the aims and objectives of the farm will remain unchanged and our turkeys will still be sold for Christmas.”

Vegan campaign group Viva! said it has contacted St Werburgh’s City Farm to register its “opposition to the slaughter of nine innocent beings who have touched so many hearts this Christmas”.

See also: Opinion – don’t waste time arguing with vegan campaigners online

Last month, turkey farmer Paul Kelly, who owns the Kelly Bronze turkeys, warned of a wave co-ordinated campaigns against turkey farmers in the run-up to Christmas.

He told the Sunday Telegraph: “They’re attacking the small farmers because there are lots more of them and they’re easier to target as they can’t afford big padlocks and security.

“We’ve been targeted this year, it’s on the rise, there’s nothing you can do.

“I’ve had death threats, loads. It’s part and parcel of the job. There’s nothing nice about killing any animal but you just treat them as you want to be reared and kill them with absolute respect.”

Threats backfire

However, pressure from vegan activists towards an east Devon farm shop, which offers “pick your own” turkeys, seems to have backfired.

The words “Murder” and “Go vegan” were spray-painted on the door of Greendale Farm Shop, in Woodbury, last month. But a spokesman for the farm said its sales had doubled on the back of the threats.

See more