News

Utah denies roadside turkey memorial

Utah denies roadside turkey memorial

TALKIN' TURKEY: This photo provided by Utah State Parks shows the remains of a semitrailer that crashed into a reservoir northeast of Provo, Utah, on Thursday, April 24. The semitrailer carrying hundreds of live turkeys crashed into the reservoir injuring the driver and spilling birds in and around the water. The turkeys perished, but the driver survived. Photo: Associated Press

By Jennifer Dobner

SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) – The Utah Department of Transportation has denied a petition to erect a roadside memorial at the site where hundreds of turkeys were killed last month in a tractor-trailer accident, but animal rights activists on Monday appealed that decision.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, has requested a permit for a sign marking the spot near the rural town of Wallsburg where a truck hauling more than 700 live turkeys crashed through a guard rail on U.S. Highway 189 and plunged into a reservoir on April 24.

The driver survived with injuries suffered when he was thrown from the cab of his truck, according to the Highway Patrol.

The PETA-proposed sign would include the Transportation Department’s standard safe-driving messages along with an image of a turkey and the words, “In memory of the hundreds of terrified turkeys who died here in a truck crash. Try vegan.”

“We are hoping (transportation officials) will see that this (is) a great way to help save both human and animal lives,” Laura Cascada, a senior campaign coordinator for PETA, said.

But in a letter sent Friday, the agency said PETA’s request did not meet Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) policy standards for roadside memorials, which are designed to pay tribute to highway accident fatalities on behalf of grieving loved ones.

“UDOT will not make an exception to the policy in this case,” TeriAnne Newell, an agency regional director wrote in response.

In a letter of appeal filed with the agency on Monday, PETA countered that “turkeys in the factory farming industry have no living relatives.”

“These individuals (the turkeys), who develop strong bonds and feel pain just as we do, are as deserving of our empathy as are human crash victims, which is why I hope you’ll allow me, a concerned Utah resident, to erect this tribute,” Salt Lake City-based PETA staffer Amy Meyer wrote in the letter.

“The sign will remind truck drivers of their duty to drive with the utmost care as they haul hundreds of terrified animals to their deaths, cutting down on these horrific collisions and making the roads safer for all commuters,” the letter said.

PETA has filed such memorial applications in multiple states, including some for cows in New York and chickens in Georgia. To date none of those requests has been granted.

(Reporting by Jennifer Dobner; Editing by Steve Gorman and Cynthia Osterman)

Recent Headlines

1 hour ago in National

Trump looks to unify Republicans; Kasich reported dropping out

Fresh
17-overlay

Billionaire Donald Trump assumed the mantle of presumptive Republican presidential nominee on Wednesday with a message on unity that also suggested he was not going to work too hard to placate some party establishment figures angered by his outsider candidacy.

5 hours ago in National

Takata recalls millions more air bag inflators

Updated
takata16125303396828

Automakers will recall up to 40 million more air bag inflators installed by Takata Corp by 2019, expanding the largest automotive recall in American history.

6 hours ago in Sports

Deflategate: Brady gets more time

tombrady276076991807

Lawyers for the New England Patriots quarterback have been given another two weeks to appeal his "Deflategate" suspension.

6 hours ago in Sports

Kentucky Bourbon Trail offers a lesson for reviving racing’s fans

derby16124571363511

Some of the best-known farms in Kentucky's scenic horse country are borrowing from another of the state's contributions to the good life — bourbon whiskey distilleries — in an effort to win new recruits to an aging and shrinking fan base.

6 hours ago in National

School safety: Drops in bullying, violent crime on campus

schoolsafety16124794280762

The latest government snapshot of school crime paints a picture of safer schools, with declines in violent crime, bullying and harassment because of sexual orientation.