The worldwide animal charity PETA have slammed the transport conditions of the 1,500 hens which were killed in a lorry crash near Eccles interchange yesterday.
Hundreds of chickens were strewn across the M62 motorway in the crash after the accident, involving around 6,800 hens in total.
This has led to calls from animal charity, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), for a memorial sign to the poultry that perished at the site.
PETA responded in a statement condemning the handling of the birds and signaled their intention to rally for a sign to be erected at the accident site.
“The extraordinary trauma and cruelty of transport for chickens and other animals is another reason why so many people are going vegetarian or vegan,” said PETA, who raise funds to fight animal cruelty.
“Chickens are routinely crammed by the thousands onto the back of lorries and taken on terrifying journeys to slaughter in all weather conditions.
“If they make it to their final destination, they are roughly grabbed, are shackled upside down and go struggling along a conveyor belt to the blade.”
The international animal charity also slammed the living conditions which many chickens are forced to endure before heading off for the slaughter.
“The vast majority of these bright, sensitive birds spend their lives in windowless sheds, where they are crammed together, unable to establish a pecking order or do anything natural and enjoyable, such as root in soil, feel the sun or a breeze, breathe fresh air, socialise, bathe in dust or raise their young,” PETA said.
The group hopes the memorial will bring the issue of animal cruelty to the fore and serve as a reminder for people in the area.
“We hope our memorial will remind people that chickens are not just body parts to pick out of buckets – but individuals with feelings who, like us, don’t want to die in an upturned lorry or at an abattoir,” PETA said.
“Readers can save these animals from a life a pain and suffering by leaving them off their plates.”
CRASH: 6,800 hens were being transported when the accident happened
Facebook followers of the Wigan charity, Lucky Hens Rescue North West, have also criticised the ‘disgraceful’ conditions the chickens were transported in after joining in the rescue effort.
Poster Ria’s Birds said: “It’s heartbreaking… Every time I see animal trucks here I get so saddened. Pieces of my heart travel with them. Really really hits hard.
“Sadly these hens mean nothing more than $$$, it’s just a business… Some will not feel their pain, their lifelong suffering they have already endured and continue to til their last breaths…
“Makes me wanna pick them all up in my arms and never let them go! Poor poor hens, I’m really feeling the sadness behind this tragedy.”
Fellow poster Marion Field said: “Hopefully it will raise some public awareness – 6000 chickens in one lorry, disgraceful.”
Angelina Peterson added: “If it was sheep or any other livestock it would be seen as more of a tragedy… Poor chickens! Hope the ones that got away find loving homes!”
Emma Smith lashed out at the decision to put the hens back in the truck after the accident.
She said: “Poor bloody things didn’t even escape properly they got gathered up and put back in the truck! Imagine the shock and how scared they were.”
However, Jenny of Parsley Pie ArtClub took a stronger stance against meat eaters and agricultural workers.
She said: “To all you farmers & consumers of animals how can you say you love animals when eat them & you breed them to sell to them be killed for money?!!! RIDICULOUS!!”
Image courtesy of Paul White, with thanks.