KU Fraternity Penalised For Abusing TurkeyBy Staff Reporter
The Douglas County District Attorney in Lawrence has introduced tough penalties against the University of Kansas fraternity chapter, 'Beta Theta Pi' for animal abuse. The fraternity has to undertake 1,000 hours of community service and pay the city of Lawrence $5,000 fine for the costs of the investigation.
The alleged incident occurred on December 2012 at a Beta Theta Pi fraternity house near the University during the 'Turkey Pull' party. The frat rented a turkey for the party where 150 people attended including officers and guests. Numerous reports at the time stated that fraternity members tortured and killed the turkey.
"After an exhaustive investigation, we believe there is evidence to suggest the turkey was mistreated," said Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson.
Branson said that since there were so many conflicting statements about the party night that it was impossible for the office to determine the actual perpetrators.
"The investigation revealed several fraternity officers were present at the Turkey Pull when the mistreatment occurred," the statement said. "But accounts of the incident that had been given by some witnesses to the media were not the same as accounts given to law enforcement investigators."
Bernadette Gray-Little, the university chancellor, described the animal cruelty as 'inexcusable" and said the fraternity had humiliated itself and the entire school.
"The behavior reported does not reflect the principles or standards of conduct I expect from our students," Gray-Little said. "Fraternity leadership should use this time to restore the trust of the university and the public."
The incident was investigated by the Lawrence Police Department, the district attorney's office, the Interfraternity Council and the national chapter of the fraternity.
Due to the controversial incident, the fraternity will not be allowed to use live animals at any of their future events.
"Does it matter if the animal is a turkey, a dog, or a cat? All animals have the right to be treated humanely," said Thomas McMannis of Miami, Fla. "We expect college students and especially service fraternities to be examples for others. I hope they get the message, and I hope they are assigned to help out at farms and shelters where animals have been abused and rescued. The message is one that we need to spread."