June 26, 2009

11,000 hens found in farmer’s mass grave

A Swedish man under investigation for burying 11,000 chickens in a mass grave without alerting authorities said he wasn't himself at the time of the incident.

Jan Erik Einarsson, who formerly served as a municipal commissioner in Orkelljunga, said he was in a state of shock when he came home one day and found a fan had broken down in a building containing 15,000 chickens, and 11,000 of the birds had died while trampling one another for air, The Local reported Friday.

Of course, I should have called. But I wasn't myself after the tragedy. It was the worst thing that has happened during the 18 years I have had chickens, Einarsson said.

Authorities were led to the mass grave by an anonymous tip in June and discovered the corpses swarming with flies. They said Einarsson failed to report the incident to a veterinarian and animal authorities and he did not have a permit to dispose of the bodies.

Environmental authorities, who are still investigating the matter, said Einarsson could face a fine of up to $1,250, the Local said.