Turkey Producer Pledges to Implement Response Plan for Crash Sites After PETA Appeal

After Three Grisly Truck Crashes Leave Suffering Turkeys Scattered on the Highway, Circle S Ranch Inc. Ramps Up Wreck-Response Efforts

For Immediate Release:
December 8, 2017

Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382

Martinsville, Va.

Following five years of efforts by PETA—including a recent series of talks brokered by Henry County Commonwealth’s Attorney M. Andrew Nester and the Virginia State Police—Monroe, North Carolina–based turkey producer Circle S Ranch Inc. has agreed to implement an emergency-response plan for accidents involving trucks carrying live turkeys that will reduce the suffering of those who are maimed and killed in these crashes. The changes draw from recommendations provided by PETA in October and come after Nester and police contacted the company about several local tractor-trailer crashes in its history.

The enhanced measures include adding a session on accident response to its animal-welfare training for workers and engaging with at least one veterinarian to respond promptly to crashes in the area and relieve the suffering of injured turkeys.

“While the only way to stop turkeys from suffering is for people to stop eating them, this move is long overdue, as these crashes cause them agony at the end of their already tragic lives,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “Circle S Ranch and local officials have taken PETA’s suggestions, learned from past failures, and put measures in place to try to minimize turkeys’ suffering and prevent those who survive from dying slowly and painfully on the side of the road.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way”—previously called for criminal investigations of Circle S Ranch after trucks carrying live turkeys for the company crashed three times in Virginia between 2012 and 2017. Witnesses reported that turkeys with broken bones and “atrocious” injuries were tossed against coops, causing their heads and wings to strike the metal frames. In 2013, PETA contacted the company after learning that the driver responsible for a crash had been convicted of driving while impaired, driving while his license was revoked, and speeding.

PETA’s recommendations to Circle S Ranch included ensuring the proper handling of turkeys at all times and the immediate euthanasia of all injured turkeys, conducting a review of the response to each scene, training drivers on reducing fatigue and preventing accidents, hiring an expert to review and improve the company’s response plan, and conducting a quarterly review of all drivers’ records and fitness to haul live animals.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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