Dayton pardons MN turkey, touts bird industry - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Dayton pardons MN turkey, touts bird industry

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (AP) - Gov. Mark Dayton has given a Minnesota turkey its walking papers just in time for Thanksgiving.

Dayton "pardoned" a Minnesota-grown turkey on Tuesday at a brief ceremony in his office. It's an annual tradition in a state that produces 46 million turkeys a year, making it the nation's leading provider.

This year's turkey is from Melrose. The big bird's pardon is ceremonial, and the president of the Minnesota Turkey Growers wouldn't promise the creature won't still be a main dish at some point. That organization's membership has donated 11,000 pounds of turkey meat to food shelves this year.

Dayton says he's celebrating Thanksgiving on Wednesday with his sons. On the holiday itself, he plans to spend the morning helping serve food to people in need at a Minneapolis church.


And in Washington D.C. today (11/21), President Obama will continue an annual tradition, he too will pardon two Thanksgiving turkeys.  The two chosen birds, Cobbler and Gobbler, come from a Virginia farm. The public got to vote on Facebook on which one should be this year's National Thanksgiving Turkey. 

But the pardoning also has the animal rights group PETA is crying foul.  In a letter, PETA requested that the White House to skip the what they call "outdated" tradition. They went onto say it "makes light" of the mass slaughter of 46-million birds.

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