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ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW: Dozens of cows escape slaughterhouse, but freedom in L.A. streets was short-lived

The chaotic scene lasted long after the sun set. Sheriff's vehicles with flashing lights could be seen pursuing cattle down streets while helicopters with searchlights loomed overhead.

JUSTIN RAY: It was an unusual sight, especially for Los Angeles: a herd of cattle galloping through the streets of Pico Rivera for nearly an hour before making their way into a residential neighborhood. Ranchers arrived with lassos; sheriff’s deputies arrived with guns. By Thursday morning, 39 of the 40 animals had been recaptured. One spent more than 24 hours free before being rounded up in a park in South El Monte. One of the cows had been killed…

The chaotic scene lasted long after the sun set. Sheriff’s vehicles with flashing lights could be seen pursuing cattle down streets while helicopters with searchlights loomed overhead. Mounted deputies also responded to the scene. Onlookers flocked to the area to capture cellphone videos as cars whizzed down the nearby boulevard, honking as they passed.

Later footage captured by OnScene.TV showed the dead cow lying in the street, its massive body transformed into a lifeless mound… According to David Rosengard, a managing attorney at the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the cattle probably would have been frightened and confused as they made their way through the suburban area.

“Cows are very empathic, very social creatures. They’re very intelligent,” he said. “I would imagine they were probably pretty scared when they were running around that neighborhood…. They had no idea where they were or what was happening”…

But just how a herd of cattle arrived in a sleepy cul-de-sac off Friendship Avenue is another story. According to official reports, the cattle escaped from Manning Beef, a slaughterhouse in the 9500 block of Beverly Road. People watching the scene play out on TV and online took to social media to weigh in, with many rooting for the cattle to find freedom. “Free all the cows in Pico Rivera, it’s the least they deserve!” said one person on Twitter. “I say give ‘em freedom if they escape,” said another.

Sheriff’s officials said the cattle escaped from the slaughterhouse through a gate that had accidentally been left open… Although many associate meat processing plants with rural areas, there are at least four such facilities in the Pico Rivera area alone, said Buckley McKay, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture…

It wasn’t the plant’s first time making headlines: In 2020, actor Joaquin Phoenix worked with Los Angeles Animal Save and Farm Sanctuary to rescue a cow and her calf from slaughter at Manning… One longtime resident of the neighborhood, who asked to remain anonymous for privacy, said that he drives by the slaughterhouse on his way to work and that there are often animal rights activists outside holding signs. “I’m very curious if someone freed the animals on purpose,” he said.

But some residents rooting for the cows noted the irony of rounding them up only to return them to the slaughterhouse… PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement that she hoped those cheering for the cattle’s escape or mourning their deaths will consider going vegan. SOURCE…


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