Victory! Festival Will No Longer Drop Terrified Turkeys from Planes

Victory! Festival Will No Longer Drop Terrified Turkeys from Planes

For 73 years, the Turkey Trot Festival, held each year in Yellville, Arkansas every October, has been steeped in controversy. During this festival, an unknown “phantom” pilot flies high above the crowd and drops live turkeys from heights of 500 feet to the ground below. 

Turkeys can’t fly for long nor very far or high. They can typically fly less than 100 feet. When they’re dropped from heights of 500 feet in the air, and moving around 70 miles per hour, there’s little they can do to protect themselves from horrific injury or death upon impact with whatever they happen to hit on the way down. The ones that aren’t killed from the fall are seriously hurt and almost always mobbed by overly eager crowds who selfishly rush over to get a selfie, completely unconcerned about their traumatized victims. 

Pilot and pharmacist Dana Woods revealed himself as the pilot that flies the turkeys high into the sky and reveled in telling the media that he “wasn’t afraid” of any critics. However, Woods and those with sociopathic tendencies like him are losing in this world that is becoming increasingly compassionate toward animals. 

Throughout the controversy, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette was a strong advocate for compassion for these poor turkeys. We applaud the paper and all the media outlets that, together, made a strong impact on the Yellville Chamber of Commerce. Through their combined efforts — and the powerful, loving voices of animal activists everywhere — sponsorship for the event was pulled. The Mid-Marion Rotary Club, which agreed to take over sponsorship for the festival, only agreed to do so with the ardent stipulation that No Turkey Will Drop. 

We are grateful for the work of kindred groups like United Poultry Concerns and the many others that made it clear that activists would expose and resist this mindless folly every time it was to happen. We commend the Chamber of Commerce for ending its relationship with the Turkey Trot Festival and its insane Turkey Drop. 

There is currently an effort to persuade the Federal Aviation Authority to ban the dropping of animals from planes, dead or alive. We’ll, of course, keep you updated. In the meantime, we want to take a moment to celebrate this major victory with you. We want to thank all of our passionate supporters for signing our alerts in recent years to end this cruel event. Without you, more turkeys would have been forced to suffer and die at the hands of barbaric people who appear to have trouble finding fun and productive things to do. 

Thank you for caring and making a huge difference. To support our next victory, please consider making a donation.