Lawsuit Looms Over Shore Transit After It Rejects ‘Close the Slaughterhouses’ Ads

PETA Plans to File Free Speech Lawsuit if Company Won't Run 'No One Needs to Kill to Eat' Campaign

For Immediate Release:
June 10, 2020

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Salisbury, Md. – Today, PETA’s legal counsel sent a letter formally objecting to Shore Transit’s refusal to run the group’s ads, which proclaim, “Close the Slaughterhouses: Save the Workers, Their Families, and the Animals.” PETA’s counsel points out that rejecting the ads for being “too offensive for [Shore Transit’s] market and political in nature” violates the organization’s constitutional right to free speech and warns that if the decision is not reversed by June 17, PETA will prepare to file suit against the transit agency.

PETA’s ads were designed in response to President Trump’s nonbinding order for slaughterhouses nationwide to remain open despite widespread coronavirus infections, including in Maryland, where hundreds of local Perdue and Amick Farms slaughterhouse workers have tested positive for COVID-19. The number of infections among slaughterhouse workers is still rising.

“The meat industry is killing animals, 74 slaughterhouse workers have died from COVID-19, and many more and their families are sick,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is asking Shore Transit to do the right thing by allowing us to inform the public that preventing the next pandemic can be as simple as not supporting the slaughter industry and going vegan.”

The novel coronavirus originated in a Chinese “wet market,” where live and dead animals are sold for human consumption; swine flu began on a U.S. factory farm; and other influenza viruses have been traced to chickens. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that approximately 75% of recently emerged infectious diseases affecting humans originated in other animals.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind