An Ontario turkey breeder and five of its employees are facing animal cruelty charges after disturbing undercover video of the birds being clubbed, kicked and suffering from gaping wounds was captured by an animal rights group.

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals announced Thursday it has laid 11 charges against Hybrid Turkey and its employees in connection with the alleged abuse captured at the Bright, Ont., plant by Mercy for Animals Canada.

The charges are the first animal cruelty charges that have resulted from an investigation by an animal protection group in Canada.

"This case graphically illustrates the cruel, inhumane and illegal abuses that turkeys and other farmed animals are forced to endure throughout Canada,” Mercy For Animals Canada’s Anna Pippus said in a statement released Thursday. "The animal cruelty charges filed against Hybrid Turkeys should send a clear message to the factory farming industry that animal abuse will not be tolerated by the Canadian public."

The SPCA conducted the investigation jointly with the Ontario Provincial Police.

The charges include four counts of causing distress by killing an animal in a manner that causes suffering, two counts of failing to kill an animal by a method that is humane and minimizes pain and distress, three counts of permitting distress, one count of failing to provide adequate medical attention and one count of failing to provide the care necessary for general animal welfare.

The undercover footage shows workers apparently crushing the spines of birds, beating them with shovels and metal rods. Other birds are shown with festering and bloody wounds and are allegedly left to suffer.

Following the video's release, Hybrid said it has suspended four employees and called abused an isolated incident.

The case is set to be brought to a Woodstock, Ont., court on Aug. 13.