Spanish police have opened an investigation after 23,000 chicks died at Madrid Barajas Airport from being abandoned for days in the cargo terminal, police reported.
The chicks were discovered on Sunday, crammed into cardboard boxes and crates, according to El País.
Around 6,000 of the chicks had already died when they were discovered, “most of them due to the cannibalism of their fellow creatures,” the Spanish newspaper wrote.
Some 17,000 other chicks were being tended to but died a few hours later. Only 3,000 survived.
The Spanish National Police tweeted footage of the surviving chicks on Wednesday. The company that made the shipment was contacted by those responsible for the premises and refused to take charge of the animals, according to El País. The company left them there as “it had rained on the crates, and the rain had spoiled the cardboard boxes in which they were transported, making the goods unprofitable,” El Periódico reported. “It was enough to make my hair stand on end,” said Carolina Corral, president of the animal protection association ALBA, who were contacted to take in the living chicks, to El País. “It was so impressive and we had neither the experience to take care of so many chicks nor the appropriate infrastructure.” ALBA is in contact with the police about the matter to find those responsible. Jason Spinks The Brussels Times
Rescatados miles de pollitos que habían sido abandonados en el aeropuerto de Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Ya se encuentran al cuidado de dos protectoras de animales Continúan las investigaciones sobre los presuntos responsables del delito de maltrato animal pic.twitter.com/wgNq1eI84F— Policía Nacional (@policia) October 7, 2020