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AR group's video sparks search of North Carolina turkey farm

(CNN) -- Sheriff's investigators in North Carolina launched a search of a turkey farm they say is owned by Butterball -- the largest producer of turkey products in the United States -- on Thursday after an animal rights organization said it infiltrated the farm and videotaped instances of purported animal abuse.

"The organization Mercy for Animals had conducted a covert operation at the farm and documented mistreatment of animals," said Capt. John Kivett of the Hoke County sheriff's office.

"No one has been taken into custody. It's still an ongoing investigation. Nothing has been seized," he told CNN.

The heavily edited videotape from the animal rights group shows what appear to be employees of the farm kicking, dragging and throwing turkeys. During one section of the tape, someone clearly swings what appears to be a metal object, striking one of the birds.

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