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Despite Repeated Crashes, Circle S Fails to Develop Humane Crash Response Plan As Workers Allegedly Smash Injured Birds Against Truck Sides, Jump on Them
For Immediate Release:June 19,
Contact:David Perle 202-483-7382
Ridgeway, Va. -- Today, PETA
fired off a letter to Robert Bushnell, Henry County commonwealth's attorney,
asking him to investigate and, if appropriate, bring criminal charges against
Monroe, N.C.–based Circle S Ranch and its employees for the mishandling of a
June 14 incident in which a truck hauling 600 turkeys crashed outside Ridgeway,
Va. Several witnesses reported seeing Circle S employees—who arrived nearly six
hours after the crash—jumping on live birds, throwing birds against the side of
a truck, and striking birds' heads against cages. Birds missing limbs and with
internal organs protruding from their bodies were reportedly denied veterinary
care or euthanasia, and approximately 540 turkeys evidently suffered and died
at the scene, possibly of heat-related stress.
bad enough that these turkeys end up having their throats slit, but that's
legal," says PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. "However, every
Circle S employee who added to the birds' pain and suffering by abusing them
and denying them emergency care needs to be charged with violating the state's
hauling Circle S turkeys also crashed in July 2010, February 2010, and
September 2009. PETA has posted an action
alert on its popular website asking visitors to urge the company to
develop and implement a detailed plan to ensure that turkeys who are victims of
crashes are promptly rescued, humanely handled, and painlessly relieved of
their suffering on site.
information, please visit PETA.org.
letter to Robert Bushnell, Henry County commonwealth's attorney, follows:
Robert L. BushnellHenry County
We hope this letter finds you
doing well. This communication serves as a request for your office to
investigate and, as appropriate, bring criminal charges against Monroe,
N.C.–based Circle S Ranch Inc ("Circle S") and its employees. Circle
S President Samuel Starnes can be reached at 704-764-7414. On June 14, 2012,
several witnesses—who are available for interviews at your request—documented
that Circle S and its workers allegedly crushed, threw, and fatally neglected
turkeys near Ridgeway.
According to news sources,
Lawrence Douglas Martin crashed a truck hauling 600 turkeys on U.S. 220 that
day and was charged with reckless driving. Circle S personnel apparently did
not arrive at the scene until nearly six hours later. (Please note that
the company's headquarters is just three hours from the crash site.) When
Circle S workers arrived, they allegedly rejected offers of water for the
turkeys. Approximately 540 turkeys—piled on top of one another in transport
cages and denied shade—evidently suffered and died eventually, including of
what a veterinary technician at the scene suspected was heat-related stress.
Witnesses report that Circle
S workers jumped onto live birds to pull—by the neck—others out of coops and
reportedly dropped birds 10 feet to the ground. Circle S employees were also
seen throwing turkeys against the side of a truck, striking the birds' heads
against coops, and causing the birds to fall 4 feet to the pavement. Turkeys
missing limbs and others whose internal organs protruded from their bodies were
reportedly denied care and even euthanasia to alleviate their suffering and
were instead tossed onto a truck for a three-hour haul. Other injured or ill
birds—including one seen convulsing, whom a worker allegedly tossed to the
ground—were evidently piled up along with dead turkeys. Circle S workers
reportedly failed to confirm that turkeys were dead before dropping them into a
Virginia Code § 3.2-6570
prohibits persons from ill-treating turkeys, denying them drink or emergency
veterinary treatment, hauling them if it produces unnecessary suffering, and
permitting others to abuse turkeys. None of this conduct is consistent with the
turkey industry's accepted agricultural practices (attached), which require
that turkeys be supported when put into—not thrown against—coops and that
injured turkeys be euthanized and confirmed dead before being disposed of. We
hope you agree that these allegations merit criminal investigation. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Dan Paden, Senior Research
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.