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Negligence Apparently Plays Key Role as Falling Debris, Exposure, and Hunger Claim Thousands of Birds' Lives
For Immediate Release:February 12, 2010
Contact:Virginia Fort 757-622-7382
Dover, Del. -- Today, PETA sent a letter to Delaware State Police Superintendent Col. Robert M. Coupe asking him to investigate the failure to remove chickens from an estimated 50 chicken sheds--many of them in Delaware--that collapsed throughout the Delmarva Peninsula because of the weight of the snow from recent storms. PETA understands that while a few farm operators took precautions to clear the snow or move the chickens, many did not, leaving birds who survived the cave-ins to die from their injuries and freeze to death in the cold. PETA is also asking Coupe to prosecute the owners if he finds any evidence that they violated the state's anti-cruelty statute.
Delaware's anti-cruelty statute states, "'Cruelty to animals' includes... failure to feed properly or give proper shelter or veterinary care to an animal... 'Proper shelter' includes providing each animal with adequate shelter from the weather elements as required to prevent unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering by the animal." In accordance with the statute, PETA asserts that farm operators who did not evacuate or provide emergency care to these chickens should be held responsible for the fact that the animals suffered from untreated injuries and a lack of food and water and experienced the pain of death resulting from exposure to the elements.
Chickens are sensitive, smart little animals, who, according to scientists, display cognitive abilities on a par with those of dogs. This means that panic and terror would have added to their physical suffering. Because the storms were predicted well in advance, the farm operators had every opportunity to have evacuation and rescue plans in place.
"Thousands of chickens were apparently simply left to suffer and die with no plan to help them, despite much advance warning of the snowstorm," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "Delaware law recognizes chickens as animals and recognizes that human beings have an obligation to prevent needless suffering."
PETA's letter to Delaware State Police Superintendent Col. Robert M. Coupe is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.