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Ask Turkey Factory to Craft Humane Crash Response Plan

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Originally Posted: July 17, 2012

Ask Turkey Factory to Craft Humane Crash Response Plan

FROM People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)


Urge Samuel Starnes, President of Circle S Ranch, Inc., to develop and implement a detailed plan immediately to ensure that any Circle S turkeys involved in crashes will be promptly rescued, humanely handled, kept comfortable, and painlessly relieved of their suffering on-site.

Sign an online petition (copy/paste URL into your browser):

turkey factory farm truck crashAnd/or better yet, make direct contact:

Samuel Starnes

Circle S Ranch, Inc.
1604 Circle S Ranch Road
Monroe, NC 28112-9354


On June 14, truck driver Lawrence Douglas Martin was hauling 600 turkeys through Henry County, Virginia, when he crashed his truck. According to news sources, Martin was charged with reckless driving.

The turkey industry's appallingly slow, inadequate, and cruel response to the crash was caught on video. Please join us to help turkeys.

Witnesses tell PETA that Circle S Ranch, Inc. (Circle S)—the company that reportedly owned the turkeys—and its workers did not arrive on the scene until nearly six hours after the crash. PETA has been informed that Circle S workers rejected offers of water for the turkeys made by the good people of Martinsville-Henry County SPCA, who rushed to the scene, kindly aided the birds, and spoke beautifully in their behalf.

Approximately 540 turkeys—who were left piled atop one another in transport cages without shade in the stifling heat—suffered terribly and eventually perished. A veterinary technician at the scene suspected that some birds died from heat-related stress, and video footage shot at the scene by a local television station shows the caged turkeys panting rapidly and in clear distress as they sit exposed to full sun in the overturned truck.

Witnesses allege that Circle S workers jumped onto live birds, roughly pulled others out of coops, dropped birds 10 feet to the ground, threw birds against the side of a transport truck, and struck birds' heads against coops, causing the birds to fall 4 feet to the pavement. Turkeys with severe, life-threatening injuries, including those whose limbs were apparently severed in the crash and others whose internal organs protruded from their bodies, were seen tossed onto a truck for a three-hour haul to slaughter.

See Martinsville-Henry County SPCA responders' photos of the ghastly scene here.

PETA asked Henry County Commonwealth's Attorney Bob Bushnell to launch a criminal investigation of Circle S and its workers, and in response, Bushnell has asked the Virginia State Police to investigate. Please take a moment to thank him.

Circle S has a history of crashes such as this one. Trucks hauling the company's turkeys crashed in March 2011, July 2010, February 2010, and September 2009.

After documenting pork giant Smithfield Foods' similarly slow and cruel responses to repeated crashes of trucks hauling pigs in Virginia, PETA was successful in pressuring the company to develop an accident response plan.

Turkeys need your help now to ensure that Circle S finally adopts a humane and effective accident response plan.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!