The Kansas University chapter of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity will no longer allow live animals at events, will host a service project benefiting an animal-related organization and will host an animal rights speaker at the fraternity, according to Martin Cobb, a spokesman for the national chapter.
The moves come in the wake of investigation into a Dec. 14 incident at the KU chapter, 1425 Tennessee St., in which a turkey was allegedly abused and later killed.
Cobb also said that the national organization hired a private investigator to look into the local case, but that investigation is not yet complete. Tuesday, Lawrence police reported they had forwarded information to the Douglas County District Attorney's Office for potential criminal charges, though no one has yet been charged.
The fraternity still is under suspension by the national chapter "with limited privileges to operate as a chapter" at KU, Cobb said. In addition, fraternity guidelines have been implemented that would require the expulsion of any member convicted of animal abuse.
The incident occurred during a formal dinner at the fraternity known as the "Turkey Pull," which has been going on at Beta Theta Pi for more than 100 years, Cobb said.
"The turkey has always served as nothing more than added decor for the event, including a suitable and proper living container" to house the turkey, Cobb said. The turkey usually is rented from a local farmer, then returned to the farmer following the event, he said.
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