PETA Urges Criminal Investigation Following Death of 23 Big Island Cows

This morning, PETA sent a letter to Chief John Batiste of the Washington State Patrol urging him to open a criminal investigation into the deaths of at least 20 cows and the suffering of others after a cattle transport container fell from a truck being hauled for J & H Express on Interstate 90 in Seattle on Saturday. The animals were piled atop each other, covered with feces, and apparently deprived of veterinary care for up to six hours while crews righted the container and hauled the animals to Sunnyside, Wash.

In its letter, PETA points out that Washington law states that whoever recklessly or with criminal negligence inflicts unnecessary suffering or pain upon an animal or fails to provide an animal he or she owns with necessary medical attention commits the offense of cruelty to animals in the second degree. PETA also notes a state animal transport law that may have been violated. In addition, the J & H Express driver was cited for traveling too fast and failing to secure his load.

“The terror and pain that these animals experienced as the container slid along the highway on its side and in the hours after the crash are difficult to imagine,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “Laws are in place to protect animals from this type of cruelty and negligence, and PETA is calling on the Washington State Patrol to hold everyone responsible for the suffering accountable.”

Photographs from the incident show the filthy conditions that the cattle were forced to endure inside the container.

PETA’s letter to Chief John Batiste of the Washington State Patrol follows.


October 17, 2012


Chief John R. Batiste
Washington State Patrol


Dear Chief Batiste,

I hope this letter finds you doing well. This communication serves as a request for the Washington State Patrol (WSP) to investigate and, as appropriate, bring cruelty-to-animals and unsafe-animal-transport charges against the person(s) responsible for the deaths and prolonged suffering of up to 70 cattle following the October 6, 2012, crash of a transport container on Interstate 90 in Seattle.

The container unhinged and slid 200 yards along the road when driver Nikolay Ivanovich Karavayev, 52, of Bellingham, Wash., rounded a curve while driving for J & H Express, Inc. Video of the gruesome scene shows struggling survivors kicking their limbs and hooves, which were stuck in the container’s grated sides, and the animals were apparently denied emergency veterinary care. WSP responders’ photographs show cattle piled atop one another and covered with feces. About three hours passed before the cattle—who had already endured many hours of transport from Hawaii—were driven three additional hours to Sunnyside, Wash. At least 20 of the cattle were evidently dead upon arrival. Karavayev was cited for traveling too fast and failing to secure his load. WSP personnel found that he “failed to lock down all four corners” of the container given that two of its locking pins “had no damage or marking on them.”

RCWA §16.52.207 provides that whoever recklessly or with criminal negligence inflicts unnecessary suffering upon an animal or fails to provide an animal he or she owns with necessary medical attention, and the animal suffers unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain as a result, commits the offense of animal cruelty in the second degree. RCWA §16.52.080 provides that any person who willfully causes animals to be transported in a manner that jeopardizes their safety or that of the public is guilty of a misdemeanor.

None of the conduct described above illustrates the accepted husbandry practices used in the commercial raising or slaughtering of livestock that RCWA §16.52.185 protects from prosecution as cruel. For example, the American Meat Institute Foundation requires that slaughterhouses have emergency plans in place for animals involved in accidents, including unloading at alternate locations. Similarly, the Washington Dairy Products Commission requires that cattle be handled, moved, and transported in a manner that avoids unnecessary pain or distress. I hope you agree that this incident merits criminal investigation. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Dan Paden
Senior Research Associate
Cruelty Investigations Department


Video – Hilo in the Early 1940’s Before the Tsunami

Downtown Hilo before the Tsunami

Check out this vintage video of Hilo uploaded today by youtube user Kailuakid:


Kailuakid states:

We recently discovered several vintage, never before seen, 16mm films at a garage sale which were taken during a worldwide tour in 1940. This digital conversion of a short portion of those films depict the pre-tsunami town of Hilo, Hawaii. Music: “Hilo My Home Town” “Hilo Hula” “Kaua I Ka Huahua’i” by Ku’uipo Kumukahi

Wordless Wednesday – When the Road Ends

November After Dark in the Park Programs at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park programs with the community and visitors throughout November.  These programs are free, but park entrance fees may apply. Mark the  calendar for these upcoming events:

The Statues Walked: Revealing the Real Story of Easter Island. Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, is widely known as a case study of human-induced environmental catastrophe resulting in cultural collapse. However, a closer look at the archeological and historical record for the island reveals that while an environmental disaster unfolded, the ancient Polynesians persisted.

Dr. Terry Hunt (NPS Photo)

Join Dr. Terry Hunt as he discusses The Statues That Walked: Unraveling the Mystery of Easter Island, a book he co-authored with fellow archeologist Carl Lipo. In this presentation, Dr. Hunt outlines the evidence for the island’s astonishing prehistoric success, and explores how and why this most isolated and remarkable culture avoided collapse. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.
When: Tues., Nov. 13 at 7 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Kalapana ‘Awa Band in Concert.  Enjoy a memorable evening listening to the gentle voices of Sam Keli‘iho‘omalu, Ipo Quihano, and Ikaika Marzon, group members who are all ‘ohana from Kalapana and have been playing together for more than 10 years. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.
When: Weds., Nov. 21 at 6:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:15 p.m.)
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Whose Footprints Are These Really? Research suggests the story behind the fossilized human footprints in the Ka‘ū Desert may be more complex than originally thought.

Whose footprints are these? (NPS Photo)

Footprints found in desert ash layers were believed to have been created in 1790 by the army of the Hawaiian Chief Keōua on their way back from battle. While in the area, Kīlauea is said to have erupted, sending suffocating ash down on one group. Others made it out alive, leaving their footprints in the then-wet ash. The ash dried, forever memorializing this event…or did it? Join Dr. Jadelyn Moniz-Nakamura as she examines fascinating geologic evidence that may indicate much more prehistoric activity in the area. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.
When: Tues., Nov. 27 at 7 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

East Hawaii Democratic Candidates Bus Stop Tour

Come join your Democratic Candidates on Friday, October 26th as they travel around East Hawaii stopping off at four locations throughout the day and having rally’s.


Candidates scheduled to be on the bus are:

  • Governor Neil Abercrombie
  • Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz
  • Mazie Hirono
  • Tulsi Gabbard
  • Malama Solomon
  • Gil Kahele
  • Russell Ruderman
  • Josh Green
  • Mark Nakashima
  • Clift Tsuji
  • Faye Hanohano
  • Richard Onishi

The schedule for the “Bus Stop Tour” i:

  1. 9:30am- 11:00am Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School – Band Room
  2. 11:30am -1:30pm  North Hawaii Educational Center in Honoka’a
  3. 3:15pm – 4:45pm  Hawai’i Academy of Arts & Sciences Public Charter School in Pahoa
  4. 5:30pm – 7:30pm Aunty Sally’s in Hilo

Rally with your Representatives and Rock the Vote!