Truck carrying live chickens overturns in Hamilton

Police say the driver of the truck wasn’t injured in the accident

Not far from the Walmart on Rymal Road on Friday morning about 8 a.m., a truck carrying live chickens overturned, tossing the birds — locked in their cages, police say — across the road and the grass.

Police say the chickens remained in their cages after the accident but Hamilton resident Karen Demaline witnessed the aftermath of the crash while driving on Rymal around 8:55 a.m. and she says she saw loose chickens wandering around in the grass on the side of the road, almost an hour after the accident.

“It was very distressing to see, especially that no one was taking any control of the scene,” she said.

Demaline said she keeps backyard chickens herself, and she could tell the caged chickens were in distress because they were “mouth panting and sticking their wings out”. 

Demaline said she called Hamilton Police Service (HPS) dispatch to ask if they had called in animal control, and they said they had. She said their answer didn’t sit quite right, so she called animal control and she says they told her that the police hadn’t called yet.

According to senior communications officer Michelle Shantz, animal control was on the scene at 9:37 a.m., which Demaline said was after her call alerted them to the accident.

“I appreciate that live chickens on a boulevard is not everyone’s wheelhouse, but also just for their protection, for drivers protection… it was a really uncontrolled thing that no one seemed concerned about,” Demaline said. 

She said she offered to help animal control wrangle the loose chickens, but was told they would handle the matter. 

Police say the truck was manoeuvring through an S-bend turn on Rymal Rd. East when two of the truck’s tires popped, which caused the truck to roll over. 

They say the driver of the truck wasn’t injured in the accident and traffic is restricted at Rymal Rd. East and Terryberry Rd.

Police say the company who owns the chickens were later onsite to move the animals to a new truck.

Hamilton residents this morning were warning others on social media to avoid Rymal Road at all costs, because of the traffic caused by the overturned truck. People online were also mentioning that this is the second chicken truck rollover in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA) in the last two weeks. 

Another truck carrying chickens rolled over on an onramp to the QEW on Aug. 9, which led to all lanes on the QEW being closed down for clean up. 

“The idea that they deserve humane treatment, even in transport and when they’re headed for slaughter, I think is something we can all get behind,” Demaline said.