Clark County

Chickens 'run loose' after crash, animal activist arrested

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- Chickens "ran loose" after a semi-rollover crash in Clark County on Monday afternoon. 

The crash, which was reported by Trooper Will Finn with the Washington State Patrol, happened on SR 502 in Dollars Corner at 29th Avenue at 3:10 p.m.

The semi-truck was en route to the Foster Farms in Kelso when it crashed during a u-turn attempt. Finn said there are signs on SR 502 that say when a u-turn is permitted by a commercial vehicle. The intersection where the semi-truck rolled over does not allow commercial vehicle u-turns. Finn said the driver was "inexperienced" and was making his second trip on the route to Kelso. 

The whole roadway was blocked due to cleanup and it affected traffic for hours. Traffic is being diverted, according to Finn.

Finn said there were over 5,000 chickens on board, but it's unclear how many died in the crash.

The driver did not sustain any injuries.

Foster Farms worked on scene and collected the chickens. 

The Dept. of Ecology was briefly on scene to handle a gas leak, but they cleared the scene by 5 p.m.

Finn also offered this irony regarding the investigation

But not everyone thought the crash was humorous. While crews were cleaning up about 30 animal rights activists with Direct Action Everywhere and the Save Movement showed up to protest the rights of the chickens. One woman, an activist named Amber Canavan. according to WSP, picked up a chicken that started walking up an embankment. A Foster Farms employee noticed and told the woman she couldn't take the chicken. She refused multiple times, even when a WSP trooper told her to give it back. The standoff lasted for an hour. She was arrested and charged with obstruction of a peace officer and third-degree theft. 

“This heartbreaking situation is a perfect illustration of the tragedy of animal agriculture,” said DxE Portland organizer Dani Rukin in a statement. “Ordinary people want to help suffering animals, but corporations only see commodities and dollar signs.”

Direct Action Everywhere produced a Facebook live of activists on scene. 

Foster Farms released a statement on the situation:

Foster Farms assisted local authorities in responding to a truck accident in Ridgefield, Washington, on
Monday afternoon. A Foster Farms semi-truck transporting live chickens overturned onto the side of the
road. No other vehicles were involved in the accident and the driver was not injured. Foster Farms
employees trained in humane handling assisted authorities in collecting displaced birds. The incident is
under review by local authorities. The company prioritizes the safety and welfare of its flocks and
accidents of this nature are rare. 


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