Police turkey program

Billings police officer Eric Schnelbach gives a frozen turkey to Larry Riddle and his daughter Amber after pulling them over for a minor traffic violation. Billings businessman Steve Goutanis donated the turkeys to be given out at traffic stops. 

LARRY MAYER, Gazette Staff

An animal rights group plans to ride the wave of a recent turkey giveaway in Billings, offering to donate Tofurky roasts for local distribution. 

Billings Police Department traffic cops handed out frozen turkeys to some drivers last week who had been pulled over for minor traffic violations. The 20 birds had been donated by a local businessman in time for Thanksgiving.

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In a letter written Tuesday to Billings Police Chief Rich St. John, PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said the organization would like to send Tofurkys to the BPD to distribute.

And around 2 p.m. the department accepted the invitation, according to PETA. In a statement Tuesday afternoon, a spokeswoman said the organization was working to facilitate the delivery of the Tofurkys. 

Tofurky is a vegetarian turkey replacement made typically from wheat protein and tofu made from bean curd.

“I'd like to make an offer that will really give Montanans something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving,” Reiman wrote, before going on to detail the benefits of “delicious cholesterol-free Tofurky roasts.”

PETA, which stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, partnered with the Fort Worth Police Department in 2016 to donate Tofurkys.

The PETA letter to St. John also described some aspects of turkeys.

“Turkeys are smart, sensitive birds who have been known to enjoy clucking along to music and love to have their feathers stroked,” it read, in part.

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