MORONI, Utah (ABC4) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that workers at Pitman Farms, Inc. slaughterhouse outside Moroni left turkeys who had been severely injured in a truck crash to languish inside the vehicle for hours.

According to the report, the truck carrying the turkeys overturned at 1 a.m. on April 28, crushing the caged birds, and arrived five and a half hours later at Pitman Farms (6:30 a.m.). However the turkeys remained in the truck for another five hours when workers unloaded the truck at 11:30 a.m., meaning that the suffering birds weren’t put out of their misery for a total of ten and a half hours after the wreck.

Despite a similar incident occurring at Pitman Farms in the past, the inspector noted that they, “did not have a plan to address the injured birds properly.”

Senior Vice President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) states, “If anyone left severely injured dogs to languish in agony for hours, they would face multiple charges of cruelty to animals,” adding, “turkeys suffer the same way and are also protected by law.”

PETA is launching a criminal investigation into the incident, stating, “PETA is calling for a criminal investigation into the horrific fates of these turkeys, who feel pain and fear every bit as much as the animals we share our homes with.”

For more information on PETA, click here.