5 min read

Cows Bust Out Of Slaughterhouse And Run For Their Lives

They were so scared.

Six cows led police on an hours-long chase through St. Louis, Missouri, on Thursday after they broke free from the slaughterhouse where they were bound to die.

Thanks to help from a local humane society, police finally corralled the animals without harming them. Bystanders named the leader of the group of runaways Chico. But after the animals were recaptured, their future was uncertain.

"It's just so incredibly sad. They're just running for their life," Susie Coston, national shelter director for Farm Sanctuary, said.

Cows are very emotional animals. They form tight bonds with each other, and when they feel scared, they show it. The six cows who were bound for slaughter might not have known exactly what was going to happen to them, but there's no doubt that they wanted to prevent it.

Farm Sanctuary and Skylands Sanctuary and Animal Rescue, two rescue organizations, made an offer to the slaughterhouse to drive to St. Louis and bring the animals back to their sanctuaries in upstate New York and New Jersey. But a representative from the slaughterhouse, Star Packing Co., said they would have to pay to save the animals.

Some local individuals set up fundraisers to buy the animals' freedom. Unfortunately, this is probably just what the slaughterhouse wanted them to do.

"Some well-intentioned citizens raised $15,000 to buy freedom for three of the bulls. That's triple the price that the slaughterhouse owner originally asked," Farm Sanctuary said in a statement provided to The Dodo on Friday morning. "As is typical in cases like this, the slaughterhouse owner took advantage of would-be rescuers by raising his prices ... All the while, there are many more animals just like the escaped six who are still suffering inside his facility and he will use that 'ransom' to buy even more."

Three of the cows are going to private individuals who bought the animals, according to Farm Sanctuary, and few other details are known. The other three are headed to a local farm, but little beyond this is known about their future there. Some fear that they will end up getting slaughtered once public interest in their fates dies down.

"Throwing money at industrial farms is not going to solve the problem of farm animal suffering," Farm Sanctuary added. "More than 10 billion land animals are slaughtered for food in this country every year. Even if the rescue community took in 20,000 farm animals a year, we would save only 0.0002 percent of those slated to die."

For example, Farm Sanctuary said, a dog rescue group that purchased animals from puppy mills would only fuel the puppy mill trade. Similarly, the only way to save cows from slaughter in the long run is to reduce the consumption of meat.

To help other cows rescued from slaughter, you can donate to Farm Sanctuary.

The Dodo's attempts to get in touch with Star Packing Co. were unsuccessful.