For Immediate Release:
July 21, 2022
David Perle 202-483-7382
Fremont, Neb. – Following a whistleblower tip, PETA has just obtained U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) records revealing that 1,000 chickens were “consumed” by “huge flames”—and another 1,500 were injured and eventually killed—after a tractor trailer carrying them caught fire at Costco supplier Lincoln Premium Poultry (LPP), near Fremont on June 17. So the group sent a letter this morning to Dodge County Attorney Sara Sopinski calling on her office to investigate and file appropriate charges against those responsible for the birds’ injuries and deaths.
The whistleblower believes that the driver carelessly left the truck’s emergency brake on, igniting the fire. It burned, with the chickens inside, for nearly an hour—and then, as the USDA report reveals, LPP workers broke the necks of birds who had managed to escape the flames and slowly killed the other survivors by gassing them with carbon dioxide over a span of nearly four hours. PETA is pursuing charges under state law because federal officials haven’t prosecuted any inspected slaughterhouses for incidents such as that at LPP since at least 2007.
“This report shows that a thousand birds, each one an individual capable of feeling pain and fear, died in terror and agony in the flames that engulfed a truck at this facility and that the necks of those who survived were cruelly snapped or else the animals were gassed to death,” says PETA Vice President Daniel Paden. “PETA urges anyone who still eats chickens to spare a thought for the suffering of these gentle birds and go vegan.”
PETA has also asked Costco management what steps the company has taken or plans to take in order to prevent similar incidents, as the USDA pointed out that LPP “has the opportunity to develop preventative measures regarding maintenance of equipment/machinery.” After the agency’s staff expressed concerns that they expected LPP to appeal the report on the incident, a USDA district manager “heavily edited” the report to read that LPP “reacted responsibly” to the event.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.