For Immediate Release:
October 18, 2022
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Dunn County, Wis. – Following a just-released U.S. Department of Agriculture report revealing that 130 chickens died of apparent heatstroke at the Pine Creek Processing slaughterhouse in Ridgeland, PETA fired off a letter today to Dunn County District Attorney Andrea Nodolf calling on her to investigate and file applicable criminal charges against the workers responsible.
According to the report, on June 21 federal officials discovered that 196 chickens had been left inside a trailer in the sunlight with little or no ventilation at their level as the temperature rose to 88 degrees. After up to three hours, most of the birds were dead.
“If someone left dogs to die in the heat, they would rightly be facing criminal charges, and these chickens were also living, feeling beings protected by law,” says PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Daniel Paden. “PETA is calling on the district attorney to investigate and bring appropriate charges and reminds everyone that the only kind meal is a vegan one.”
PETA points out that chickens, pigs, cows, sheep, and other animals feel pain and fear and value their lives, just as humans do. The group is pursuing charges under state law because federal officials haven’t prosecuted any inspected slaughterhouses for acts of neglect such as those at Pine Creek Processing since at least 2007.
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.
PETA’s letter to Nodolf follows.
October 18, 2022
The Honorable Andrea Nodolf
Dunn County District Attorney
Dear Ms. Nodolf:
I’m writing to request that your office (and a local law-enforcement agency, as you deem appropriate) investigate and file applicable criminal charges against the staff responsible for leaving nearly 200 chickens in a hot cattle trailer—killing 130 of them—at the Pine Creek Processing slaughterhouse located at 410 County Rd. AA in Ridgeland. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) documented the incident in the attached report, which the agency just made available to the public.
According to the report, on June 21 at about 8 a.m., FSIS personnel observed approximately 196 chickens at the above address and found them to be healthy. Approximately three hours later, as the temperature reached 88 degrees, a federal agent documented that 130 of the animals had died after being kept in a cattle trailer in the sunlight with little or no ventilation on its floor where the birds were. The animals had evidently died of heatstroke in the intervening hours.
This conduct does not represent the otherwise-exempt “slaughter of animals by persons acting under … federal law” and thus may violate Wis. Stat. § 951.02. Please note that FSIS’ simple report on the matter carries no criminal or civil penalties and doesn’t preempt criminal liability under state law for cruelty to animals. Thank you for your time and consideration and for the important work that you do.
Vice President of Evidence Analysis
Cruelty Investigations Department