Written by Jeff Mackey
PETA has asked the Washington State Patrol (WSP) to open a
criminal investigation after as many as 70 animals endured prolonged agony and died
in the October 6 crash of a cattle transport truck container in Seattle. The
request also urges WSP to bring cruelty-to-animals and unsafe-animal-transport
charges against the person or people responsible if criminal actions are
In a jarring reminder that the trucks used to transport farmed animals are no less cruel and treacherous than the factory farms and slaughterhouses that
they travel between, the cattle container came unhinged on Interstate 90 and slid
200 yards along the road when the driver, hauling for J & H Express, Inc.,
rounded a curve. Video of the gruesome scene shows struggling survivors kicking their limbs and
hooves, which were stuck in the container's grated sides. Photos by WSP
responders reveal cattle piled on top of one another and covered with feces.
The animals were apparently denied emergency veterinary care.
About three hours passed before the cattle—who had already endured many hours
of transport from Hawaii—were driven three additional hours to Sunnyside, Washington,
where at least 20 of the injured were reportedly discovered to have died. The
driver was cited for traveling too fast and failing to secure his load. WSP
personnel found that he had "failed to lock down all four corners" of
the container given that two of its locking pins "had no damage or marking
According to Washington law, inflicting needless suffering on
an animal through recklessness or criminal negligence or failing to provide one's
animals with necessary medical attention constitutes second-degree cruelty to
animals if the animal suffers unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain. State
law also makes it clear that causing animals to be transported in a way that
jeopardizes their safety or that of the public is a misdemeanor.
Even without the flagrant and possibly illegal actions that
lead to truck accidents (which happen frequently) and the misery that they
cause, transport is hell on animals, who are often beaten or shocked to get
them to cram into the trailer of the 18-wheeler. During the trip, they are
often deprived of food and water for the entire journey, which may take days.
They suffer from heat exhaustion in the summer and freeze to the sides of the
truck in winter, and they're forced to inhale diesel exhaust and ammonia fumes
from their own waste—if they can breathe at all. After the trauma of the farm
and the truck, many animals are so ill or injured that they're unable to stand
and walk on their own, so they're kicked or dragged off the trucks to their
From birth to slaughter, the life of every animal used for
food is a long procession of indignities
and injuries, which are funded with each dollar spent on meat, eggs, or dairy products. Don't
buy into animals' misery—go vegan today!
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
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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.