At least six people have been charged following an investigation of conditions at a Hoke County turkey plant, including a North Carolina agriculture official who tipped off the company about the probe.
Dr. Sarah Jean Mason was charged with misdemeanor obstruction Wednesday, and at least five employees of the Butterball farm are facing animal cruelty charges.
Last month, Mason admitted she warned a Butterball veterinarian that authorities were investigating reports of cruelty at the farm. She said she only wanted to curtail any mistreatment of birds at the plant.
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services suspended Mason this week. She'll go without pay for two weeks and be required to take ethics training courses.