Maryland’s Eastern Shore and Delaware are home to large scale poultry production. Countless barns and several slaughter plants can be found in the idyllic countryside, operated by producers such as Perdue Farms, Allen Family Foods and Mountaire Farms.
Investigators waited for poultry transport trucks along busy U.S. Route 50 to check the conditions for the animals on the trailers. They didn’t have to wait long on this cold December afternoon until they spotted a loaded A & W transport (DOT 1565114). The trailer, which held cages stacked ten high, was delivering chicken to one of the nearby slaughter plants.
Despite the fact that the temperature that day was only 36 degrees Fahrenheit, not all of the cages were covered with weather protection. Eight cage rows had no insulation panels attached, one cage row only had a partial insulation panel, leaving the birds inside fully exposed to the icy wind. Additionally, several of the cages were dented or had holes in their sides that were large enough for a bird’s head to get stuck.
Many of the chicken appeared to be in poor condition, their bare, featherless rear ends were red and inflamed. Some appeared dead, as they were laying on their side and not moving at all.
The truck driver was driving more than 10 miles over the allowed speed of 55mph. At 4:15pm, the truck turned left on Dale road and started heading towards Selbyville, Delaware.
Animals’ Angels will report these findings to the producer and urge them to improve the conditions for the animals delivered to their plant.