Chicken Lives Matter: Vigil to be held outside Perdue Farms in Milford

June—a six-week-old chicken—died at Mount Laurel Animal Hospital thirty-six hours after a Perdue Farm's truck crashed on Route 301 in Delaware.

Animal rights activists will hold a vigil tonight in Milford for June, a chicken who was killed thirty six hours after she was rescued from a Perdue Farm truck crash on Route 301 Wednesday morning. 

June suffered a deep chest laceration and a fractured keel bone when a Perdue Farm’s tractor trailer, in route to slaughter, crashed on Route 301 Wednesday morning. Debris from the pavement lined June's chest cavity, causing a massive infection which turned sepsis. 

June was rushed to Mount Laurel Animal Hospital by animal activists with Liberation Philadelphia several hours after the crash when he was found hiding along the shoulder of the highway, abandoned by Perdue Farms.

Activists say that June's story highlights the routine suffering inflicted on billions of chickens killed by Perdue each year, which is why they will hold a vigil from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Perdue Farms on N. Rehoboth Blvd. in Milford.

Liberation Philadelphia is calling on Perdue Farms to pay for June's veterinarian bills, provide care for all the surviving chickens injured in Wednesday's crash and immediately release them into the care of a farm sanctuary where they can live out their lives with dignity, respect and freedom.  

Maria Kelly, an animal rights activist and organizer with Liberation Philadelphia, said the vigil is way to honor June and all of the other chickens killed in the crash. She feels Perdue Farms was negligent and should be held accountable.  

"We felt in this situation that it was really important to honor June who fought for her life and tried to escape the crash. We feel like it's our duty to honor him and show other people that it's not ok that something like this happened where a bunch of individuals were injured horrifically and then the people responsible are just able to go on with their lives," explained Kelly. 

"We're calling on Perdue because obviously the chickens in this truck were going to their facility. Not only do we feel that they have been negligent in caring for the animals on their way to the factory, but we also feel it's important to call attention to all of the other chickens who didn't escape and weren't in this particular crash, but are killed by Perdue every year for people to eat."

“June and all chickens deserve a life free from abuse and suffering. It’s time for industrialized abusers of animals like Perdue Farms be held accountable for their cruel practices," said Mahika Gupta, an organizer with Liberation Philadelphia. "This horrific incident further highlights the urgent need for our society to change its relationships with traditionally ‘farmed’ animals; from one in which we abuse and exploit them to a relationship where we respect the inherent worth of their individual lives and cause them no harm.” 

The activists argue that if June had received veterinary care immediately after the accident, it’s likely that June would have survived. They said June's story highlights the routine suffering inflicted on billions of chickens each year. 

Delaware 105.9's sister-station WDEL reached out to Perdue Farms for comment, which was not made immediately available.

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