Burying Chickens Alive: Local petition gaining thousands of signatures

A video showing chickens allegedly being buried alive that has gone viral this summer has gained over 150,000 petitioners through a local animal-rights activist.

The video was made through the animal right group Compassion Over Killing.

Curt Albright of Waxhaw is petitioning to urge Harnett County's District Attorney (Vernon Stewart) to press charges against Prince Poultry -- a North Carolina company that allegedly buried chickens alive on its farm.

The petition says, "The North Carolina animal cruelty law (N.C.G.S. § 14-360 et seq.) states that a person who intentionally wounds, injures, or torments an animal, or deprives an animal of necessary sustenance, is guilty of animal cruelty. At a minimum, Compassion Over Killing's undercover video clearly shows these things.   

"Urge Harnett County District Attorney to enforce the law he's elected and sworn to uphold! Let's be clear—the North Carolina citizens to whom he is accountable firmly believe that intentionally burying animals alive is cruel and criminal, and should be punished by law! Moreover, we know North Carolina produces food for much of the nation, and consumers across the country and around the world will look at this shameful cruelty and question our agricultural practices."

Prince Poultry's owner said that the backlash is not warranted.

"I had no bad intent to commit animal cruelty here," Prince Poultry owner Tim Prince said. "All I was doing was keeping the wild animals from digging into the side of my house...I didn't realize that was animal cruelty. They were bad birds. Bad legs, or there was something wrong with them and that's what we did with them. We put them in there and they were eaten by wild animals...I haven't had to trap wild animals in years since I started feeding them, leaving them wild birds in the pit."

Tim's wife Lisa said that the family stands to lose everything after Pilgrim's (one of the world's largest chicken companies) terminated their contract.

"This land was my family land," Lisa Prince said. "We have a daughter in college and we hope she can go this year but we just don't know. It's very embarrassing. We just don't know.

"We stand to lose everything in our family from three generations over this. We're going to have to find jobs from the outside and this is what we've done all our life...we thought we were doing the most humane thing. These were birds we were going to euthanize anyway...you can't bully and that's what this is -- a bully thing."

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