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Thanksgiving Feast Reared on Staten Island's Streets Could Feed Poor

By Nicholas Rizzi | November 18, 2013 6:48am
 The USDA has still not deemed if Staten Island's turkeys are safe to eat.
Ocean Breeze Turkeys
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OCEAN BREEZE — A Thanksgiving feast reared on the streets of Staten Island is sitting in deep freeze while inspectors check that it's safe to eat.

Dozens of turkeys killed during a controversial cull by the  U.S. Department of Agriculture are expected to be handed out at local food pantries — if they're deemed safe for human consumption, a USDA spokeswoman said.

The spokeswoman did not say which pantries would get the meat.

Since August, the USDA has sent many of the nearly 80 turkeys living on the grounds of the the South Beach Psychiatric Center to the slaughterhouse.

Residents thought the turkeys had received a pardon when 28 of the birds were sent to an upstate sanctuary in September but the USDA made another cull of nearly two dozen birds last month.

The flock was originally slated for slaughter when staff at the psychiatric center complained about their aggressiveness, the unsanitary conditions caused by their droppings and traffic issues caused by birds crossing roads.

Residents and activists rallied to save the turkeys, and recently PETA joined in the fight to save the birds.

"These turkeys are here from no fault of their own," Kristin Simon, senior cruelty caseworker for PETA, told DNAinfo New York.

"They deserve to be treated humanely and there's no reasons that these turkeys can't be re-homed."