ARCADIA, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — PETA is sounding the alarm about a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a report into the House of Raeford Farms revealed more than 1,800 chickens were burned alive inside two trailers after a tire exploded on two separate occasions.
PETA is now launching a pressure campaign to stop the ‘illegal suffering’ in the backyard of Claiborne Parish residents.
The USDA reported on April 12, that a trailer traveling to House of Raeford Farms caught fire after a tire burst causing 1,320 chickens to die or sustain injuries. After the truck arrived workers extinguished the fire and the chickens were disposed of.
The month prior, on March 27, the same incident occurred when a truck’s tire burst en route to the slaughterhouse and the driver’s brakes failed thus it did not make it to the slaughterhouse and approximately 500 chickens went up in flames as a result.
PETA.org is applying pressure on local law enforcement and the Claiborne Parish District Attorney to further investigate Raeford Farms hoping they file for negligence and cruelty to animals under state law.
PETA’s Vice President of Evidence Analysis, Daniel Paden says the firing of the two truck drivers is not good enough.
“We’ve asked Danny Newell, the District Attorney to work with law enforcement to take this seriously,” Paden says, “the law is very clear in Louisiana and it says you cannot transport any animal in a cruel and inhumane manner. It has exemptions for standard transport for agricultural animals which chickens obviously are but this is beyond the pale and it’s not your everyday event.”
House of Raeford Farms, Arcadia is the same farm where:
- A Mysterious and Fatal forklift accident occurred [March 5, 2018]
- House of Raeford Farms inmate-employee went missing [Sep 18, 2018]
- said inmate was later charged with second-degree murder [Oct 10, 2020]
- Former employees charged with defrauding Raeford Farms of over $4 million [Oct 5 ’23]
In a letter to D.A. Newell, PETA argues that the House of Raeford Farms is in violation of “LA. law § 14:102.1(A)(1)(f), which prohibits carrying “a living animal in … a vehicle … in a cruel or inhumane manner” with criminal negligence.
However, PETA is aware the law quoted above does not apply to livestock (the chickens): “C. This Section shall not apply to any of the following: ….(6) Nothing in this Section shall prohibit the standard transportation and agricultural processing of agriculture products as defined in R.S. 3:3602(5)”
So what water does PETA’s argument have?
According to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Meat Inspection, they state the humane handling of livestock includes minimizing stress during movement, insensible to pain, and limiting suffering before and during.
However, the LDAF said they do not deal with the House of Raeford since they are a federal USDA facility. This means they are not subject to state inspection.
A representative from LDAF clarified further and said the department “currently does not have any inspected chicken spot facilities understate inspection at this time.”
When the USDA inspected Raeford Farms they reported “The contractor who hired and provided the drivers in both incidents was terminated. The Complex Manager, (whose name is redacted from the report) was notified of the compliance. The establishment failed to protect the live chickens to ensure that they were slaughtered in accordance with good commercial practices, thus failing to meet the regulatory requirements of 9 CFR 381.65(b).”
“It appears there is some negligence involved here,” Paden said. “The same contractor – tires were bursting. So we’re asking the DA and now, state police to look into whether someone should be held criminally culpable for clearly painful, agonizing deaths of nearly 2,000 animals who at the end of the day are just as capable of suffering, as are dogs and cats whom many Americans share their homes with.”
Paden says unfortunately PETA has seen this type of negligence before.
“It happens once or twice a year in the United States where typically because of a driver error or someone being careless, um, these tractor trailers their tires will burst. The truck will catch fire and because there are thousands of animals on these trucks, every day across the U.S. catches fire, a lot of animals die.
The USDA their mission is to promote eating animals and to make that more available to America and; unfortunately when that is its mission the responsibility is they have to enforce minimal federal protections against unnecessary suffering for birds falls by the wayside,” says Paden.
PETA claimed the USDA failed to communicate their findings to local law enforcement “so business would go on as usual.”
Paden says, “The USDA has had authority since 1978 to file federal criminal charges for neglecting and abusing animals. But to our knowledge that’s never happened.”
Excluding a case in 2006 against an unlicensed slaughterhouse in Florida.
Their hope is when local law enforcement, such as state police and prosecutors see PETA’s report to ‘put a stop’ to the practices at Raeford Farms operations.
The House of Raeford Farms, Arcadia; USDA, and Clairborne District Attorney were contacted and unavailable to comment.