Hundreds of Thousands of Chickens to be Suffocated; PETA Demands Action, Accountability

For Immediate Release:
December 15, 2023

Brittney Williams 202-483-7382

Little Rock, Ark.

Hundreds of Thousands of Chickens to be Suffocated; PETA Demands Action, Accountability

Following reports that the Arkansas Department of Agriculture has started killing hundreds of thousands of young chickens because Cooks Venture doesn’t want them—by suffocating them with foam, an agonizing death that can take as long as 14 minutes—PETA rushed a letter to Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward today expressing outrage at the cruel slaughter and callous waste of birds’ lives and slamming the agency for using cruel and lazy killing methods not approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) for non-emergencies. PETA points out that the chickens were essentially abandoned by Cooks Venture following its sudden shutdown, leaving the Department of Agriculture to deal with millions of birds crammed into filthy sheds at the company’s supply farms.


Chickens on a factory farm. Credit: PETA


“These chickens have suffered in crowded, ammonia-ridden sheds their whole lives, and now, outrageously, they’re being suffocated to death en masse on the taxpayers’ dime while Cooks Venture washes its hands of them,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling for accountability and urging the Arkansas Department of Agriculture to stop the killing of these chickens via suffocation or other cruel methods not sanctioned by the AVMA, and we urge everyone to go vegan to prevent this kind of ruthless mass killing.”

Chickens killed for their flesh are crowded by the tens of thousands into filthy sheds and bred to grow such unnaturally large upper bodies that their legs often become crippled under the weight. At the slaughterhouse, their throats are cut, often while they’re still conscious, and many are scalded to death in defeathering tanks.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview, and offers a free vegan starter kit on its website. For more information, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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