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Prolonged Suffering of Injured Animals Is in Apparent
Violation of State Law, Says Group
For Immediate Release:October 17, 2012
Contact:David Perle 202-483-7382
Seattle -- This morning, PETA sent a letter to Chief John Batiste of
the Washington State Patrol urging him to open a criminal investigation into
the deaths of at least 20 cows and the suffering of others after a cattle
transport container fell from a truck being hauled for J & H Express on
Interstate 90 in Seattle on Saturday. The animals were piled atop each other,
covered with feces, and apparently deprived of veterinary care for up to six
hours while crews righted the container and hauled the animals to Sunnyside,
In its letter, PETA points out that Washington law states
that whoever recklessly or with criminal negligence inflicts unnecessary
suffering or pain upon an animal or fails to provide an animal he or she owns
with necessary medical attention commits the offense of cruelty to animals in
the second degree. PETA also notes a state animal transport law that may have
been violated. In addition, the J & H Express driver was cited for
traveling too fast and failing to secure his load.
"The terror and pain that these animals experienced as
the container slid along the highway on its side and in the hours after the
crash are difficult to imagine," says PETA Senior Vice President of
Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. "Laws are in place to protect
animals from this type of cruelty and negligence, and PETA is calling on the
Washington State Patrol to hold everyone responsible for the suffering accountable."
the incident show the filthy conditions that the cattle were forced to
endure inside the container.
For more information, please visit PETA's
PETA's letter to Chief John Batiste of the Washington
State Patrol follows.
October 17, 2012
Chief John R.
BatisteWashington State Patrol
Dear Chief Batiste,
I hope this letter finds
you doing well. This communication serves as a request for the Washington State
Patrol (WSP) to investigate and, as appropriate, bring cruelty-to-animals and
unsafe-animal-transport charges against the person(s) responsible for the
deaths and prolonged suffering of up to 70 cattle following the October 6, 2012,
crash of a transport container on Interstate 90 in Seattle.
The container unhinged and
slid 200 yards along the road when driver Nikolay Ivanovich Karavayev, 52, of
Bellingham, Wash., rounded a curve while driving for J & H Express, Inc.
Video of the gruesome scene shows struggling survivors kicking their limbs and
hooves, which were stuck in the container's grated sides, and the animals were
apparently denied emergency veterinary care. WSP responders' photographs show
cattle piled atop one another and covered with feces. About three hours passed
before the cattle—who had already endured many hours of transport from
Hawaii—were driven three additional hours to Sunnyside, Wash. At least 20 of
the cattle were evidently dead upon arrival. Karavayev was cited for traveling
too fast and failing to secure his load. WSP personnel found that he
"failed to lock down all four corners" of the container given that
two of its locking pins "had no damage or marking on them."
§16.52.207 provides that whoever recklessly or with criminal negligence
inflicts unnecessary suffering upon an animal or fails to provide an animal he
or she owns with necessary medical attention, and the animal suffers
unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain as a result, commits the offense of
animal cruelty in the second degree. RCWA §16.52.080 provides that any person
who willfully causes animals to be transported in a manner that jeopardizes
their safety or that of the public is guilty of a misdemeanor.
of the conduct described above illustrates the accepted husbandry practices
used in the commercial raising or slaughtering of livestock that RCWA
§16.52.185 protects from prosecution as cruel. For example, the American Meat
Institute Foundation requires that slaughterhouses have emergency plans in
place for animals involved in accidents, including unloading at alternate
locations. Similarly, the Washington Dairy Products Commission requires that
cattle be handled, moved, and transported in a manner that avoids unnecessary
pain or distress. I hope you agree that this incident merits criminal
investigation. Thank you for your time and
Dan PadenSenior Research AssociateCruelty Investigations
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.