Shenandoah Valley Organic Repeat Offender Overturned Truck, Crushing Birds, Endangering Others
For Immediate Release:
January 18, 2023
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Harrisonburg, Va. – This morning, PETA sent a letter to Shenandoah Valley Organic (SVO) CEO Corwin Heatwole, urging him to immediately review all company and contract drivers’ records and their fitness to haul live animals and to prohibit any individuals with driving-related offenses from getting behind the wheel. The appeal comes after trucker Anthony Lee Lambert was found guilty of improper driving after running off one side of Kratzer Road and then the other, slamming into utility poles, then overturning the truck, all while hauling chickens to Harrisburg for SVO in July. Lambert had previously been found guilty of other traffic violations, including speeding, improper driving, and driving without a license.
PETA is also releasing a video featuring photos and dashcam footage of the crash scene. The video highlights troopers’ statements that they believed Lambert was looking at his phone before crashing. The wreck, which endangered other motorists, caused chickens to be crushed or ejected from crates and left maimed birds to suffer for hours. PETA is aiming to place a memorial billboard in the area to point out that animals feel pain and fear and value their lives, just as humans do, and ask motorists to help prevent further suffering by going vegan.
“Vulnerable birds endured a terrifying, painful ordeal because of this driver, but the buck stops with Shenandoah Valley Organic,” says PETA Vice President Daniel Paden. “PETA is calling on the company to take action, but only the public can ensure that animals don’t suffer in the meat industry by choosing not to eat them.”
PETA is also criticizing SVO for making misleading claims about the “humane” treatment of the chickens it supplies to major grocery stores, including Kroger, Publix, and Harris Teeter. In addition, the group wants Heatwole to develop a contingency plan in the event of another wreck, including SOPs for prompt retrieval, humane handling, and painless, on-site relief from suffering. The group notes that SVO’s use of a driver with multiple offenses displays yet another glaring gap in the “humane” standards it professes to uphold.
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.