France

Jet fighters scare 4,800 chickens to death

Stefano Corso. Pensiero/Open access

French police are looking into the suspicious deaths of 4,800 chickens. The birds apparently died of fear when two jet fighters flew over a Brittany farm. An autopsy carried out on several of the victims has shown that they were alive before the planes passed overhead.

Advertising

“If we hadn’t been there, it would have been worse,” chicken farmer Etienne Le Méhauté told Ouest France newspaper.

He and his family rushed to the coops after the planes flew past while they were eating lunch, “causing vibrations in our backs, it was so loud”, Le Méhauté said.

The terrified chickens, who were 10 months old, had all rushed to one side of the building where they were kept. Nearly 5,000 suffocated when they stood on top of one another in several layers.

“We separated those we could,” Le Méhauté said.

The farmer, who is in charge of 68,000 fowl belonging to an agricultural cooperative, is demanding between 12,000 and 15,000 euros in compensation.

Air traffic control officials confirm that two military planes flew over the area at a height permitted by regulations. The Ministry of Defence said that it is not yet convinced that there is any connection between the flights and the deaths. 

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning