Below is part of Emma Billington’s eye witness account of the recent M62 lorry crash involving 6800 chickens on their way to slaughter. As you might imagine, due to the nature of the incident it is not easy reading so I have put Emmas full account on the facebook page here :
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=726886020705601&set=a.161543200573222.35985.161461967248012&type=1 and a shortened version below. The crash happened at 4am in the morning and she and other wonderful volunteers worked until 9pm at night trying to rescue as many of the survivors as possible. In sharing her story she says “We can only hope that this raises awareness of the ability to rehome ex battery hens and give them a life after their misery. Please spread the word and let’s show this industry up for the incredible suffering that it really is. If everyone had been there to see this I doubt they could have stomached a chicken supper.”
Emma : We live right next to the M62 motorway and it happened only meters from our house. We woke at 4am with a huge bang and the dogs started going crazy. We just assumed it was a blow out on the motorway but then could hear a noise that sounded like people screaming. We went running over and once motorway side what we saw will be hard to forget. All the birds were screaming and it was deafening.
Cages were up the embankment and scattered across the motorway, birds were loose and walking all over the carriageway, some running in panic. Many were clearly already dead but there were dying birds all over the place with horrific injuries that will haunt us forever.
Two by two we just started carrying the birds off the motorway and up the embankment to our field for safety. Turning around to realize the extent of the numbers we were facing caused an overwhelming feeling of helplessness.
The rescue started at 4am continued until late in the evening, the last hen having been collected from motorway side at 9pm.
The rescue involved the help of so many kind people who carried on ensuring we got every last one we could see. The motorway had reopened hours before and all workforces from the scene had long gone; leaving us all to clear up the danger.
We ended the day cut to pieces from brambles, barbed wire and all sorts, stung and bitten but happy to think they all have a chance of a normal life which would never have been if it weren’t for the crash.
11.40pm Wednesday 14th May the last people turned up to get chickens. First thing Thursday morning and we were inundated again and we could probably have rehomed them 5 times over.
Those who came to help are the heroes in all of this. If it were not for them we would not have anywhere near the numbers saved that we did.