Fraternity to hold ‘turkey pull’ — but without live turkey

The Beta Theta Pi house at Kansas University plans to have its annual dance and dinner Friday, long known as the “turkey pull,” but there won’t be a live turkey there.

Earlier this year, the fraternity was fined and sentenced to community service for an incident at its house at last December’s “turkey pull” in which a live turkey was abused and killed. The animal acted as a mascot of sorts at the event, which had been held at the fraternity for more than a century.

After the event last year, witnesses reportedly told Lawrence police that individuals had heckled, abused and seriously injured the animal before killing it. A subsequent law enforcement investigation determined that several fraternity officers had been present during the incident, which evoked anger in animal-rights activists nationwide.

In September, the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office settled with the fraternity for $5,000 in fines and 1,000 hours of community service.

The KU Beta Theta Pi house, which is on probation, previously reported that it would no longer allow live animals at its events, hold a service project to benefit an animal-rights organization and host an animal rights speaker.

Fraternity President Jake Faucett confirmed that the event would be taking place this year but did not return several follow-up calls seeking additional comment.